Russia’s Akula Subs Upgraded With Kalibr Cruise Missiles

Silent Hunter: Russia’s Akula Subs Upgraded With Kalibr Cruise Missiles

12:26 20.03.2016 (updated 12:37 20.03.2016)

Russia plans to upgrade its Project 971 nuclear submarines with Kalibr cruise missiles, Rear Admiral Viktor Kochemazov said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“The Kalibr cruise missile is a highly efficient weapon as was amply proved by the recent launches from the Rostov-on-Don submarine. Kalibr missiles will be installed on the modernized Project 971 submarines,” Admiral Kochemazov told Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei (Russian News Service) radio station in Moscow.

Project 971 Shchuka-B or Bars, designated by NATO as the Akula, are the codenames for the multirole nuclear-powered attack submarines which are the backbone of Russia’s maritime nuclear deterrence.

First deployed in late 1980s, the Project 971 submarine can move at an impressive speed of up to 35 knots when submerged, has a maximum operational depth of 600 meters (nearly 2,000 feet) and boasts an endurance of 100 days.

But the Akula’s truly remarkable feature is its low level of noise generation the Soviet and later Russian engineers were able to achieve. An upgraded version, known as the Akula II, was the quietest submarine at the time when it was commissioned, exceeding the upgraded version of the US Los Angeles-class subs.

The Akula remains one of the quietest Russian submarines to date.

The Russian Navy operates over ten Akulas as part of its Northern and Pacific Fleets. One Project 971 submarine, currently known as INS Chakra is on a ten-year lease in India.

Original post


Kalibr cruise missile

Kalibr cruise missile Image:

The Russian domestic variant (3M-54) and export variants (3M-54E/3M-54TE) fly at sub-sonic speeds while achieving supersonic speed as they near their target. They are also believed to be able to perform very high angled defensive maneuvers in contrast to the common linear flight path of other anti-ship cruise missiles.

3M-14 – DOD designation SS-N-30A. An Inertial guidance land attack variant deployed by the Russian Navy. The submarine-launched weapon has a basic length of 6.2 m (20 ft), with a 450 kg (990 lb) warhead. Its range is 1,500–2,500 km (930–1,550 mi). Its subsonic terminal speed is Mach 0.8.

3M-14T – DOD designation SS-N-30A; is the Inertial guidance land attack variant which is deployed by the Russian Navy. A surface ship with VLS launched missile, with thrust vectoring booster, its basic length is 8.9 m (29 ft), its warhead weight and other performance are the same as the 3M-14. Russia fired 26 3M-14T cruise missiles from four surface ships in the Caspian Sea against 11 targets in Syria on 7 October 2015.

The missile can make in-flight maneuvers 147 times or more (in any direction), the minimum height of 10 meters, an average of 20 – 50 meters (up to 1000), it will automatically follow terrain, the missile can be controlled in flight. Source: wiki/Scoopnest

Kalibr cruise missile Image:

Akula Class nuclear-powered submarines (SSN)

The Russian Navy has 14 Bars Class project 971 submarines known in the West as the Akula Class nuclear-powered submarines (SSN). A number of Russian Akula class submarines are deployed in the Pacific region.

The submarines were built by the Amur Shipbuilding Plant Joint Stock Company at Komsomolsk-on-Amur and by Sevmash at the Severodvinsk shipbuilding yard. Seven Akula I submarines were commissioned between 1986 and 1992, and three Improved Akula between 1992 and 1995. The improved Akula I and Akula II are also designated as Project 971U and Project 971A respectively.

The Akula Class submarine was deployed for the first time in 1986 by the Soviet Navy.

Three Akula II submarines, with hull length extended by 4m and advanced machinery-quietening technology, have been built.

The first, Viper, was commissioned in 1995, the second, Nerpa, in December 2000 and the third, Gepard, in August 2001. The Akula II submarines are 110m long and displace up to 12,770t. They have a maximum speed of 35kt submerged and a maximum diving depth of 600m.

The oldest submarine, Akula I, is likely to be removed from service by 2015, while the Gepard Akula II is expected be withdrawn from service by 2025.


The Akula Class carry up to 12 Granit submarine-launched cruise missiles. The missiles are fired from the 533mm torpedo launch tubes. Granit (Nato designation: SS-N-21 Sampson) has a range of about 3,000km and delivers a 200kt warhead.

The CEP (the circle of equal probability) is 150m. The CEP value is a measure of the accuracy of strike on the target and is the radius of the circle within which half the strikes will impact. The land attack Granit missile uses inertial and terrain following guidance.

The submarine’s anti-ship missiles are the Novator SS-N-15 Starfish and the Novator SS-N-16 Stallion. The Starfish, fired from the 533mm tubes, has a target range of 45km. The Stallion, fired from the 650mm tubes, has a longer range of up to 100km. The Stallion and the Starfish can be armed with a 200kt warhead or a type 40 torpedo.

An air defence capability is provided by a Strela SA-N-5/8 portable missile launcher with 18 missiles.


The submarine has eight torpedo launch tubes, four 650mm and four 533mm tubes. The Improved Akula and Akula II have ten, with six 533mm tubes. The four 650mm tubes can be fitted with liners to provide additional 533mm weapon launch capacity. The torpedo tubes can be used to launch mines instead of torpedoes. The Akula can launch a range of anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel torpedoes.


The main machinery consists of a VM-5 pressure water reactor rated at 190MW with a GT3A turbine developing 35MW. Two auxiliary diesels rated at 750hp provide emergency power. The propulsion system drives a seven-bladed fixed-pitch propeller.

The propulsion system provides a maximum submerged speed of 33kt and a surface speed of 10kt. A reserve propeller system, powered by two motors rated at 370kW, provides a speed of 3kt to 4kt. The submarine is rated for a diving depth to 600m. Source

Russian Akula-class submarine modernisation programme underway

The Russian Ministry of Defence is upgrading its third-generation Akula-class Project 971 nuclear-powered attack submarines, according to Malakhit Design Bureau head Vladimir Dorofeyev.

Dorofeyev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that currently, the first Project 971 submarine is undergoing moderation at the Zvezdochka shipyard in northern Russia.

Further details of other vessels, which will undergo refit and the total number of submarines to be upgraded, were undisclosed.

Upgrades include installation of enhanced electronics and technology to improve stealth capabilities. The first Akula-class submarine is expected to complete modernisation in two years and will undergo sea trails prior to its deliver to the navy, Dorofeyev added.

Built at Amur and Sevmash shipyard, the submarines feature very low acoustic signatures and can carry up to 12 Granit submarine-launched cruise missiles, which have a range of about 3,000km and deploys 200kt warheads.

Fitted with Novator SS-N-15 Starfish and the Novator SS-N-16 Stallion anti-ship missiles, the submarines of the class can cruise at a maximum submerged speed of 33k and operate at depths of 600m.

In January 2004, the Indian Navy signed a $650m agreement with Russia to lease an Akula II submarine, the SSN Nerpa, for ten years, in a move to enhance the country’s defence capabilities.

Commissioned by the Russian Navy in December 2009, the SSN Nerpa was renamed INS Chakra and was re-commissioned by the Indian Navy in April 2012.

The Bars-class project 971 submarines, also known as Akula-class submarines, will form the core of the Russian nuclear attack submarines fleet, along with Project 885 Yasen/Graney-class nuclear-powered submarines. Source



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