A Sierra II-class submarine underway
|Builders:||Krasnoye Sormovo, designed by Lazurit|
|Preceded by:||Alfa class, Victor class|
|Succeeded by:||Akula class|
|Active:||2 (+1 undergoing and 1 awaiting modernization)|
|Type:||Nuclear attack submarine|
|Range:||Effectively unlimited, except by food supplies|
|Complement:||Sierra I & II: 61|
The Sierra class, Soviet designations Project 945 Barrakuda and Project 945A Kondor, (NATO reporting names Sierra I and Sierra II respectively), are series of nuclear-powered attack submarines intended for the Soviet Navy and currently in service with the Russian Navy.
The class is unique due to its light and strong titanium pressure hull which enables the submarines of the class to dive to greater depths, reduce the level of radiated noise and increase resistance to torpedo attacks. It is powered by a single OK-650 pressurized water reactor.
The upgraded version, the Sierra II class was specifically developed for search and destroy missions against US nuclear submarines. It has a smaller turning circle than any other modern submarine, with speeds and diving depth greater than its American counterparts. It has also improved quieting and sonar.
Project 945 Barrakuda (Sierra I)
The first submarine of the Project 945, Carp, was laid down in July 1979 at the Gorky shipyard and was launched in August 1983 before being transferred to Severodvinsk for fitting out. It was laid up in 1997. The next hull to be built was Kostroma, which was launched in July 1986 and was commissioned in September 1987. K-276 Kostroma was put into a drydock after its 11 February 1992 collision with the US submarine USS Baton Rouge in the Barents Sea, off Kildin Island. The submarine was repaired on 3 June 1992 and was renamed Krab on 6 April 1993, but in 1996 its original name, Kostroma was returned and it is in active service with the Russian Northern Fleet. The Sierra I class was also fitted with a releasable escape pod for the crew. The pod is covered by a V-shaped casing on the port side of the sail.
Project 945A Kondor (Sierra II)
The Project 945A has a considerably larger sail which is 5 m (16.4 ft) longer than the Sierra I class. The sail also has a curious flat, square leading edge. The masts are offset on the starboard side to make way for two escape pods in the sail. The starboard side also has a 10-point environment sensor fitted at right angles to the front end of the sail. Also, the Sierra II class has a much larger pod on its after fin. The pod houses the Skat 3 passive very low frequency towed sonar array.
In October 2012, a submarine of the Sierra II class was deployed to the North Atlantic and carried out a patrol off the US East coast. Out of the two existing submarines of this class, the Pskov was in overhaul between 2011-2015 according the Russian website Deep storm, thus it's likely that the submarine present in the North Atlantic in 2012 was the other one (Nizhniy Novgorod). The aforementioned website acknowledges activity of Nizhniy Novgorod that period under the command of Captain 1st Rank Alexey Ananko (submarine was reportedly active in 2008 and 2013) 
Project 945AB (Sierra III)
In January 2013 a contract for refit and recommission of the submarines Carp and Kostroma of Project 945 was signed with the Zvezdochka Shipyard, Severodvinsk. The necessary upgrade work was expected to take three years. It was expected that the submarines would be transferred to Zvezdochka before end of April 2013 and the overhaul of the submarines would begin in summer 2013. Zvezdochka would carry out ship defectation, repair mechanical parts, replace nuclear fuel and all electrical equipment of the submarines. The submarines were also expected to receive a new sonar, combat information management system (BIUS), the GLONASS navigation system and new armament consisting of the Kalibr cruise missiles. In March 2015 it was reported that the final decision on the modernization of submarines Carp and Kostroma was yet to be made due to cost issues.
|B-239||Carp||945||20 July 1979||29 July 1983||29 September 1984||Northern Fleet||Undergoing modernization||To be reactivated in 2017.|
|B-276||Kostroma||945||21 April 1984||26 July 1986||27 November 1987||Northern Fleet||Awaiting modernization|
|B-534||Nizhniy Novgorod||945A||15 February 1986||8 July 1989||26 December 1990||Northern Fleet||Active||Overhaul completed in 2008.|
|B-336||Pskov||945A||29 June 1989||28 July 1992||17 December 1993||Northern Fleet||Active||Overhaul completed in 2015.|
- List of Soviet and Russian submarine classes
- List of submarine classes in service
- Future of the Russian Navy
- Attack submarine
- Cruise missile submarine
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- Project 945 Sierra class Attack Submarine (Nuclear Powered)
- Article from bsu.by (in Belarusian)
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