Yasen-class submarine

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Class overview
Name: Yasen
Operators:  Russian Navy
Preceded by: Akula class
Cost: Equivalent of US$1.6 billion[1]
Building: 4
Planned: 12[2][3] (7 on order)[4]
Completed: 2 (Severodvinsk)
Active: 1[5]
General characteristics
  • Surfaced: 7,700–8,600 tons
  • Submerged: 13,800 tons [6]
Length: 139 m (456 ft)[7]
Beam: 15 m (49 ft)[7]
Propulsion: 1 x KPM type pressurized water reactor
  • Surfaced: 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
  • Submerged (silent): 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)
  • Submerged (max): 35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph)[8]
Range: unlimited except by food supplies
Test depth: 600 m (2,000 ft)
Complement: 90 (32 officers)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Rim Hat ESM/ECM Snoop Pair Surface Search Radar

The Yasen-class submarine (Russian: Проект 885 "Ясень", "ash tree"; NATO reporting name: "Severodvinsk", also known erroneously as the Graney class) is the newest Russian nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine.[12][13][14] Based on the Akula-class submarine and the Alfa-class submarines it is projected to replace Russia's Soviet-era attack submarines, both Akula and Oscar-class submarines.

According to one of the U.S. Navy’s top submarine officers Rear Adm. Dave Johnson, Naval Sea Systems Command’s (NAVSEA) program executive officer (PEO) submarines, "We’ll be facing tough potential opponents. One only has to look at the Severodvinsk, Russia’s version of a [nuclear guided missile submarine] (SSGN). I am so impressed with this ship that I had Carderock build a model from unclassified data [so that he could look at it every day on his way to his office].”[15]


Yasen-class submarines were designed by the Malakhit Central Design Bureau, formed by the combination of SKB-143 and TsKB-16, with work on the initial design scheduled for start in 1977 and completion in 1985.[16] Malakhit is one of the three Soviet/Russian submarine design centers, along with Rubin Design Bureau and Lazurit Central Design Bureau.

Construction on the first submarine started on 21 December 1993 with its launch slated for 1995 and commissioning for 1998.[17] However, the project was delayed due to financial problems and it appeared during 1996 that work on the submarine had stopped completely. Some reports suggested that as of 1999 the submarine was less than 10 percent completed.[18] In 2003 the project then received additional funding and the work of finishing the submarine continued.

In 2004 it was reported that the work on the submarine was moving forward, but due to the priority given to the new SSBN Borei-class submarine, Severodvinsk, the lead unit of the Yasen class would not be ready before 2010. In July 2006 the deputy chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, Vladislav Putilin, stated that two Yasen-class submarines were to join the Russian Navy before 2015.[19]

Acoustic stealth comparison

On 24 July 2009, work commenced on a second Yasen submarine, named Kazan. On 26 July, the Russian navy command announced that starting in 2011, one multipurpose submarine would be laid down every year, although not necessarily of this class.[20]

An August 2009 report from the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence estimated the Yasen-class submarines to be the quietest, or least detectable, of contemporaneous Russian and Chinese nuclear submarines but is still not as quiet as contemporary U.S. Navy submarines (i.e. Seawolf and Virginia classes).[21][22]

In April 2010 it was reported that the 7 May launch of the first boat had been postponed due to 'Technical Reasons'.[23][24]

The launch of the first ship of this class and the beginning of sea trials was reported in September 2011.[25]

Roll out ceremony of Russian submarine Severodvinsk.

K-329 Severodvinsk went on her first voyage in September 2011 in order to conduct sea trials.[26]

On 9 November 2011 Russia signed a contract for 4 Yasen-class submarines to be delivered by 2016.[27]

On 26 July 2013 the third submarine, Novosibirsk, was laid down.

On 30 December 2013 the first submarine, Severodvinsk, was handed over to the Russian Navy. The flag-raising ceremony was held on 17 June 2014 marking its introduction into the Russian Navy.[28]


It was speculated that the cost of the first Yasen-class submarine was around US$1 billion,[29] although another source claims that the price was actually US$2 billion.[30][31] Recent reports from unnamed sources speculate that the first-of-class (Severodvinsk) unit cost was 50 billion rubles (roughly US$1.6 billion)[32][33] while the second boat (Kazan) will cost an estimated 110 billion rubles (US$3.5 billion)[citation needed]. This would make Kazan the most expensive SSN/SSGN in the world together with USS Jimmy Carter but not as expensive as the $4.8 billion French SSBN Triomphant class.[34] A single Yasen-class submarine allegedly costs as much as two Borei-class submarines.[35][36]

In 2011, (then) Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov criticized the ever increasing cost of the Borei- and Yasen-class submarines. The Minister described the massive increase in cost between the first and the second Yasen-class submarine as "incomprehensible". However, he insisted that the Ministry of Defence and Sevmash (builder) would resolve the issue. Officials from the United Shipbuilding Corporation replied that work done in Sevmash accounts to only 30% of the submarines completion cost, the remaining 70% being linked to suppliers/contractors.[37]

Due to the high cost of each submarines some sources believe that a new generation of SSNs would be of smaller dimensions[38] with a reduced armament/payload.[39]


The vessel's design is claimed to be state-of-the-art. The Yasen-class nuclear submarine is presumed to be armed with cruise missiles, with several types suggested, including the 3M-51 Alfa SLCM, the P-800 Oniks SLCM, the RK-55 Granat SLCM, and the 3M-54 Klub (SS-N-27 "Sizzler").[8] The 3M-54 Klub has several variants including the 3M54E (terminal-supersonic) and 3M54E1 (subsonic) antiship, 91RE1 antisubmarine, and the 3M14E land-attack variant.[40][41] It will also have 8 x 650 mm and 2 x 533 mm tubes as well as mines and anti-ship missiles such as the RPK-7.

This class is the first Russian submarine to be equipped with a spherical sonar, designated as Irtysh-Amfora. The device (allegedly the Irtysh/Amfora sonar system) was tested on a modified Yankee class submarine.[42] The sonar system consists of a spherical bow array, flank arrays and a towed array. Due to the large size of this spherical array, the torpedo tubes are slanted.[16] The hull is constructed from low-magnetic steel.[43] The submarine has a crew of about 90, suggesting a high degree of automation in the submarine's different systems. The newest U.S. attack sub, the Virginia-class submarine, has a crew of 134 in comparison.

Yasen-class submarines will be the first Russian SSNs/SSGNs equipped with a fourth generation nuclear reactor.[44] The reactor will allegedly have a 25-30 year core life and will not have to be refueled.[45]

A VSK rescue pod is carried in the sail.[16]


Severodvinsk class – significant dates
Project Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status Fleet Comments
K-560 885 Severodvinsk 21 December 1993[46] 15 June 2010[47][48][49] 30 December 2013[50] In operation Northern
K-561 885M[51] Kazan 24 July 2009[7][52][53] Under construction TBD First serial unit, modernized.
K-573 885M[54] Novosibirsk[55] 26 July 2013[56][57] Under construction TBD
885M[54] Krasnoyarsk 27 July 2014[58][59] Under construction TBD
885M[60] Arhangelsk 19 March 2015[61][62] Under construction TBD

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

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