Russian submarine Alexander Nevsky (K-550)

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«Александр Невский» в Вилючинске.jpg
Alexander Nevsky in Vilyuchinsk.
Name: Alexander Nevsky
Namesake: Alexander Nevsky
Builder: Sevmash
Laid down: 19 March 2004
Launched: 6 December 2010
Commissioned: 23 December 2013
General characteristics
Class and type: Borei-class submarine
  • 14,720 t (14,488 long tons) surfaced
  • 24,000 t (23,621 long tons) submerged
Length: 170 m (557 ft 9 in)
Beam: 13.5 m (44 ft 3 in)
Draught: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)[1]
Complement: 130 officers and men

K-550 Alexander Nevsky (Александр Невский, tr. Aleksandr Nevskij) is a Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarine of the fourth generation Borei class (Project 955A). Named after the Russian saint Alexander Nevsky, the submarine was laid down in March 2004 and was first planned to be launched in 2009.[2] However, budgetary problems and repeated failures of the submarine's main weapon, the Bulava SLBM missile, pushed the launch date forward. Russian officials have however claimed that the submarine has been completed on time and even ahead of schedule.[1]

Design and description[edit]

The submarine was to have been rolled out from its construction hall on 30 November 2010. This was postponed to December due to bad weather, according to the shipyard's press service.[3]

On 2 December 2010 the submarine was rolled out from its construction hall to floating dock[4] and would be launched at an unknown future date.[5] The submarine was inspected by the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin on 13 December 2010.[6] With an estimated cost of 23 billion RUR (~$900 million USD), the new submarine has no significant differences from the lead ship, SSBN Yury Dolgorukiy.[5]

On 24 October 2011 the submarine started its sea trials.[7] It was planned to launch the first SLBM from Alexander Nevsky in 2012.[8]

The submarine entered service on 23 December 2013.[9]

Commissioning and deployment[edit]

K-550 shortly before rolling out to floating dock.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu attended the launch ceremony at the Sevmash shipyard in the northern city of Severodvinsk.

In November 2013, the Defense Ministry said that delivery of the boat would be delayed until 2014 following the failure of an onboard missile system during sea trials in September. The malfunction was the latest in a string of eight failures of the new Bulava missile – developed for the new Borei-class submarines – out of a total of 19 or 20 launches. The new Borei-class boats are currently incapable of performing their primary role of nuclear deterrence while the Bulava has not yet been cleared for service, a navy command source said on November 1.

Alexander Nevsky, with a length of nearly two football fields, can carry sixteen Bulava missiles, each fitted with up to ten independently targetable nuclear warheads. The first ship of the Borei class, Yury Dolgorukiy, entered service on 10 January 2013.[10]

Ballistic missile submarines comprise one leg of Russia’s strategic nuclear triad along with land-based ICBMs and a bomber force. The Borei class is Russia’s first post-Soviet ballistic missile submarine class and will form the mainstay of the strategic submarine fleet, replacing aging Typhoon, Delta-3 and Delta-4-class boats. Russia plans to build a total of eight Borei submarines by 2020, but it is uncertain how many of these will be in the Northern Fleet and how many in the Pacific Fleet. The first vessel, Yury Dolgorukiy arrived at its home base in the Northern Fleet in September 2013, while the next two are undergoing final testing.[11][12]

Alexander Nevsky, the second Borei-class vessel, has been commissioned into the Russian Navy, a Russia’s Defense Ministry source told the TASS news agency on 14 April 2015. The submarine passed all its trials, including the test firing of its Bulava SLBMs.[13]

Alexander Nevsky transferred from the Northern Fleet to the Pacific Fleet and arrived in the port of Vilyuchinsk, in the Kamchatka Peninsula on 30 September 2015.[14]

By 10 October 2016, K-550 had reached the Russian region of the Sea of Japan. It surfaced near a tiny Russian fishing craft, almost sinking the boat and its crew of two fishermen. They filmed K-550's surfacing and their video went viral in Russia and made world news.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Construction of SSBN Alexander Nevsky will cost RUR 23 bln – shipbuilder". 2010-12-13. Archived from the original on 2014-09-01. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  2. ^ "Alexander Nevsky". 2004-03-19. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  3. ^ "Withdrawal of SSBN Alexander Nevsky from covered slipway was postponed". 30 November 2010. Archived from the original on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  4. ^ "SSBN Alexander Nevsky was moved to floating dock". Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Путин посетил АПЛ "Александр Невский"". 14 December 2010. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Russian military to receive 1,300 types of weaponry by 2020 | Defense | RIA Novosti". 14 December 2010. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Aleksandr Nevskiy begins see trials". Russian strategic nuclear forces. 24 October 2011. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  8. ^ "SSBN Alexander Nevsky To Launch Bulava No Sooner Than Summer 2012". 2011-10-26. Archived from the original on 2012-05-05. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  9. ^ "Russia's second next-gen nuclear sub enters service". 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  10. ^ "New Russian ballistic missile sub to join fleet". RIA Novosti. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  11. ^ Petterson, Trude (13 December 2013). "Russia builds huge nuclear missile depot in Severomorsk". Barents Observer. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Russian Navy commissioned its second Borey-class nuclear missile submarine, Alexander Nevsky". 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Second Russian Borei-class nuclear sub with 16 Bulava missiles combat ready — source". TASS. 14 April 2015. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Russian nuclear sub carrying Bulava missiles arrives in Kamchatka". TASS. 30 September 2015. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Dramatic moment Russian nuclear submarine almost capsizes fishing boat". 10 October 2016. Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.