Yasen-class submarine

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Yasen class
Graney class SSN.svg
Yasen-class SSN profile
АПКР "Северодвинск".jpg
K-329 Severodvinsk
Class overview
Name: Yasen
Builders: SevMash, designer Malakhit Lazurit Rubin
Operators:  Russian Navy
Preceded by: Akula class
Cost: Equivalent of US$1.6 billion[1]
Building: 5
Planned: 12[2][3] (7 on order)[4]
Completed: 2
Active: 1[5]
General characteristics
Type: Attack submarine
  • Surfaced: 8,600 tons
  • Submerged: 13,800 tons [6]
Length: 139.5 m (458 ft)[7][8][9]
Beam: 13–15 m (43–49 ft)[7][10][11]
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)[12]
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.[18][19][20] Based on the Akula-class submarine and the Alfa-class submarine, it is projected to replace Russia's Soviet-era attack submarines, both the Akula and Oscar-class submarine.

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].”[21]


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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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 Dolgorukiy-class submarine, the lead unit of the class Severodvinsk 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.[25]

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.[26]

An August 2009 report from the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence estimated the Severodvinsk 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).[27][28]

In April 2010 it was reported that the 7 May launch of the first boat had been postponed due to 'technical reasons'.[29][30]

The launch of the first ship of this class and the beginning of sea trials was reported in September 2011.[31]

Roll out ceremony of Russian submarine Severodvinsk.

K-329 Severodvinsk went on her first voyage in September 2011 in order to conduct sea trials.[32]

On 9 November 2011 Russia signed a contract for 4 Yasen-class submarines to be delivered by 2016.[33]

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.[34]


Initial estimates regarding the cost of the first Yasen-class submarine ranged from US$1 billion[35] to US$2 billion.[36][37] In 2011, it was reported that the first-of-class (Severodvinsk) unit cost was 50 billion rubles (roughly US$1.6 billion)[38][39] while the second boat (Kazan) will cost an estimated 110 billion rubles (US$3.5 billion, in 2011 RUB/USD exchange rate).[40] 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.[41] A single Severodvinsk-class submarine allegedly costs as much as two Dolgorukiy-class submarines.[42][43]

In 2011, (then) Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov criticized the ever increasing cost of the Borey- 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 for only 30% of the submarine's completion cost, the remaining 70% being linked to suppliers/contractors.[44]


Due to the high cost of each Yasen class submarine, some sources believe that a new generation of SSNs would be of smaller dimensions[45][46] with a reduced armament/payload.[47] The Yasen class successor/supplement is in development[48][49][50] and dubbed Husky class by the media.[51][52][53] The final design of the submarine is yet to be completed and may feature a more conventional layout with bow-mounted torpedo tubes (as opposed to the midship torpedo tubes on Yasen class submarines) and a smaller chin-mounted sonar, i.e. the sonar will be mounted below the torpedo tubes (as opposed to a large spherical sonar on Yasen class submarines).[54]


The vessel's design is claimed to be state-of-the-art. The Yasen-class nuclear submarine is presumed to be armed with land-attack cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine missiles including the Oniks SLCM, Kalibr family SLCM, or 3M51 SLCM.[12] Kalibr-PL has several variants including the 3M54K (terminal-supersonic) and 3M54K1 (subsonic) antiship, 91R1 antisubmarine, and the 3M14K land-attack variant. For the 855M Zircon (missile) hypersonic long-range[55] Each submarine can carry 32 Kalibr or 24 Oniks (Note: other sources claim 40 Kalibr and 32 Oniks)[56] missiles which are stored in eight vertical launchers (additional missiles may be carried in the torpedo room at the expense of torpedoes).[57][58][59][60] It will also have eight 650 mm and two 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 MGK-600 Irtysh-Amfora.[61] The device (allegedly the Irtysh/Amfora sonar system) was tested on a modified Yankee class submarine.[62] 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.[22] In other words, the torpedo tube outer doors are not located in the immediate bow as in the previous Akula class[63] but moved aft.[64] The hull is constructed from low-magnetic steel.[65] The submarine has a crew of about 90, suggesting a high degree of automation in the submarine's different systems. The newest USA attack submarine, 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.[66][67] The reactor (built by Afrikantov OKBM)[68][69] will allegedly have a 25-30 year core life and will not have to be refueled.[70]

Steam turbines were supplied by Kaluga Turbine Works.[71]

A VSK rescue pod is carried in the sail.[22]


At the end of April 2016, K-560 conducted a drill using 3M14 missiles.[72]


Severodvinsk class – significant dates
Project Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status Fleet Comments
K-560 885 Severodvinsk 21 December 1993[73] 15 June 2010[74][75][76] 30 December 2013[77] In operation Northern
K-561 885M[78] Kazan 24 July 2009[7][79][80] 31 March 2017[81] 2018[82] Launched TBD First serial unit, modernized.
K-573 885M[83] Novosibirsk[84] 26 July 2013[85][86] Under construction TBD
K-571 885M[83] Krasnoyarsk 27 July 2014[87][88] Under construction TBD Undergoing testing[89]
885M[90] Arhangelsk 19 March 2015[91][92] Under construction TBD
885M[90] Perm 29 July 2016[93] Under construction TBD
885M Ulyanovsk[94] July 2017[95][96] Ordered TBD

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

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