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Latest Russian submarines should carry Lasta antitorpedoes - Part 1


The Kazan Yasen-M-class fourth-generation SSGN of project 885M joined the Russian Navy earlier this month. Gazeta.ru analyzed its characteristics, as well as strong and weak points.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001Kazan Yasen-M-class SSGN Project 885M submarine at Sevmash Shipyard in Severodvinsk, Russia (Picture source: Oleg Kuleshov)


The Kazan is armed with 533mm torpedo launchers. Universal vertical launchers for antiship Onyx, cruise Kalibr, and future hypersonic Tsirkon missiles are the main weapon.

However, the submarine has yet to deliver the arsenal to the launch site, and some Russian experts believe it may face problems with the task.

Lasta antitorpedoes are ready and are better than expected, however all rearmament deadlines of Russian submarines with them have been disrupted. It means the submarines have no proper antitorpedo protection.

A way out is a tough requirement of the customer to deliver nuclear submarines with antitorpedoes. There are no technical problems and the organizational issues need a tough customer demand.

Experts believe Russia has the necessary potential and experience to obtain modern submarines and weapons. All the problems are organizational rather than technical.

One of the main reasons is that the Navy is ready to accept warships with drawbacks. A positive example is offered by the Admiral Gorshkov frigate of project 22350. The customer succeeded to have Poliment-Redut antiaircraft missile complex upgraded to the required level and gave a powerful impulse to the industry for the further improvement of the warship.

The Kazan SSGN does not have a water jet, which is characteristic of all modern nuclear submarines. It means project 885M lags behind modern US, UK, and French nuclear submarines in low-noise speed.

However, experts believe it is not critical, as the slow-speed noise of Russian nuclear submarines is low and close to the natural ocean noise beginning from the third-generation submarines. Prudent and non-standard actions make Russian subs successfully counter foreign U-boats. Russian submarines produce a low noise due to major work of all specialists and organizations.

Several media outlets have numerously claimed that Russian acoustics lags behind the foreign ones. However, experts believe Russian sonars have a high technical level, which industrial capabilities can provide. It is necessary to use only domestic electronic components.

Experts point at another problem of Russian submarine designers. The introduction of new submarine detection technologies, including multi-positional with low-frequency scanning lags behind.

The situation aggravated after tough centralization of electronic means and sonars was introduced in the industry. On the one hand, work is ongoing, but on the other hand, organizational problems drag the time to an unacceptable level. It makes Russian acoustic arms lag behind foreign equipment.

The Kazan lead submarine of project 885M was floated on March 31, 2017 and began running trials on September 25, 2018. The submarine has successfully test fired Kalibr and Onyx missiles.

The Yasen-M class is an improved version of the Yasen nuclear attack submarine using an advanced design that increases its ability to detect enemy vessels at speeds far higher than those of its predecessors. A new power supply and acoustic defense systems have been developed for the boat in order to reduce the noise signature and increase its stealth capability.

Paket-NK is a newly introduced torpedo system in the Russian Navy. According to its manufacturer, JSC "Tactical Missiles Corporation", it is a dual mode acoustic torpedo intended to destroy both submarines and torpedoes in the near field of the ship. The small-size torpedo is used against submarines, whereas the anti-torpedo against attacking torpedoes.


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