Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saint nuke for xmas?

Who would have thought a Ballistic Missile Sub would ever be named after
Santa Claus?
Peter Z
Project 955 Saint Nicholas
According to the general director of Sevmash, Nikolai Kalistratov, the
new strategic ballistic missile submarine of the Project 955 Borey class
will be named after one of the most revered saints in the Russian
Orthodox Church - St. Nicholas (who is known as the model for Santa
Claus, although this connection is almost nonexistent in the Russian
Orthodox tradition). Kalistratov said this during a Patriarch Kirill's
visit to Sevmash.

Construction of the new submarine is expected to start on December 22,
2009. The lead ship of this class, Yuri Dolgorukiy, began sea trials in
June 2009. Two other submarines - Aleksandr Nevskiy and Vladimir
Monomakh - are under construction.
Russia to start construction of 4th Borey-class sub in December

MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Sevmash shipyard will start
the construction of the fourth Borey class (Project 955) strategic
submarine on December 22, a Sevmash press secretary said Monday.

Anastasia Nikitinskaya said the keel-laying ceremony for an
as-yet-unnamed sub was timed to coincide with the shipyard's 70th

She said Russia's newest Borey class strategic nuclear submarine, the
Yury Dolgoruky, had undergone three sea trials out of the required six.

The Yury Dolgoruky, which is expected to be armed with the new Bulava
sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM), successfully completed its first
round of sea trials in the White Sea on July 10.

The vessel is 170 meters (580 feet) long, has a hull diameter of 13
meters (42 feet), a crew of 107, including 55 officers, a maximum depth
of 450 meters (about 1,500 feet) and a submerged speed of about 29
knots. It can carry up to 16 ballistic missiles and torpedoes.

The construction cost of the submarine totaled 23 billion rubles (about
$713 mln), including 9 billion rubles ($280 mln) for research and

Two other Borey class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky and the
Vladimir Monomakh, are in different stages of completion. Russia is
planning to build eight of these subs by 2015.

According to Navy officials, fourth-generation Borey class
nuclear-powered submarines will form the core of Russia's modern
strategic submarine fleet, and will be deployed with Russia's Northern
and Pacific fleets.

However, the submarine's commissioning into the Navy could be delayed by
setbacks in the development of the troubled Bulava missile, which has
officially suffered six failures in 12 tests.

However, some analysts suggest that in reality the number of failures
was considerably larger. For example, according to Russian military
expert Pavel Felgenhauer, of the Bulava's 12 test launches, only one was
quite successful.

The future development of the Bulava has been questioned by some
lawmakers and defense industry officials, who have suggested that all
efforts should be focused on the existing Sineva SLBM.

But the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to
the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready
to be put in service with the Navy.


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