Russia’s gigantic Typhoon submarines to be scrapped

Posted: 10/05/2011 in all marine news

English Pravda –

The world’s largest ballistic missile submarines of Project 941 Akula (Shark), known as Typhoon, will be decommissioned before 2014 and used for scrap metal, a source at Russia’s Defense Ministry told the Izvestia newspaper.

All three operating submarines of the project – Arkhangelsk, Severstal and Dmitry Donskoi – will thus be destroyed. The Dmitry Donskoi cruiser was previously used as the base for launching Russia’s new Bulava ballistic missile. The decommissioning of the missiles will cost the Russian budget hundreds of millions of rubles, experts said.

Defense officials said that it became impossible to use the above-mentioned submarines for intended purposes because of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-3), which Russia had signed with the United States. 

Specialists of Sevmash Enterprise (the maker of the subs) said that it could be possible to redesign the submarines to use them as undersea gas tankers or all-season marine freight vessels. However, defense ministry officials said that the cost for this work would be unreasonably high.

It was Borei class submarines that ruined the career of the Typhoons, defense officials said. Borei is a new class of submarines, which Sevmash Enterprise currently builds. The new subs will be armed with Bulava missiles.

The tests of Borei submarines ended successfully, which made the maintenance of bulky and more expensive typhoon submarines pointless. The crew of the Borei sub is 1.5 times smaller than that of the Typhoon. Maintenance costs also differ in Borei’s favor. To crown it all, it is much more difficult to detect Borei submarines in the water, officials said.

Officials representing the Defense Ministry also said that any work to redesign the submarines would cost tens of billions of rubles. Therefore, it would be more reasonable to spend this money on building new vessels, they said.

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