Asian Defence News
Thursday, May 05, 2016
SSGN Oscar II Class
As a cruise-missile submarine, the Oscar was designed primarily to attack NATO aircraft carrier battle groups. To cope with its resource problems, the Russian Navy, in the early 1990s, made an effort at preserving its core submarine force capabilities. The Russian Navy continued to invest in new construction. In the late 1990s it completed several new submarines of the third generation Oscar II. 11 of the larger Oscar II submarines were built between 1985 and 1999 at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk. Three have been decommissioned and one, the Kursk, sank. Two Oscar II submarines are active with the Northern Fleet and five with the Pacific Fleet.
The submarine is equipped with 24 SS-N-19 Granit (NATO codename “Shipwreck”) cruise missiles with a range of 550km. The missile has a length of 10.5m and weighs 6.9t with a warhead weighing 1,000kg. Its speed is Mach 1.5. Under the START treaty, nuclear warheads for these missiles have been replaced with high explosive warheads. The missiles, which are launched while the submarine is submerged, are fired from tubes fixed at an angle of approximately 40°. The tubes, arranged in two rows of twelve, are each covered by six hatches on each side of the sail, with each hatch covering a pair of tubes. The launchers are placed between the inner pressure hull and the outer hydrodynamic hull.
The torpedo tubes fire both torpedoes and shorter range anti-ship missiles, and a combination of some two dozen weapons are carried including the SS-N-16 missile. The SS-N-16 has a range of 50km and is powered by a liquid fuel turbojet engine. It can carry either an explosive warhead or a Type 40 torpedo.
In the 1980s the Rubin Design Bureau was responsible for developing a number of third-generation nuclear submarines with cruise missiles, including Projects 949 (“Granit”, “Oscar I”) and 949A (“Antey”, “Oscar II”). The Bureau took the lead in using naval cruise missiles, designing the first cruise missile nuclear submarine – Project 659 (“Echo I”), then Project 675 (“Echo II”) and related modifications. @naval-technology.com
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