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Russia to change its nuclear submarine crew training methods

Russian MoD decided to change the training system of the crews of the latest Borey-A-class SSBN of project 955A and Yasen-M-class SSGN of project 885M. This comes after the president urged to accelerate the construction of nuclear submarines. Previously submariners accepted a U-boat and then began training onboard. Now, the crew members are trained during the construction and trials. Experts believe the new method will accelerate the beginning of the combat duty of new nuclear submarines, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russia to change its nuclear submarine crew training methods The K-535, the Yuriy Dolgorukiy, first Project 955 Borey-class SSBN

Crews of nuclear submarines will be able to go on duty right after the U-boats are accepted into service, the main Navy command said. The submariners will train everyday service, sortie preparations, navigation and combat during the design and building of the submarine vessels. Previously, the training took close to a year, that had to be added to the previous building time.

Training comprises several stages, expert Igor Kurdin said. "At first the crew is selected. The submariners then study the boat in training centers in Obninsk and Sosnovy Bor. They then go to the shipyard to study the design of the submarine under construction. Together with engineers and designers the crew participate in mooring, running and acceptance trials and master the most complicated maneuvers and the engagement of missiles and torpedoes. The final stage includes under-ice sailing with obligatory engagement of missiles and torpedoes," he said.

The new training regime is an important step for the operational status of the most powerful and modern submarines. Project 955 submarines are fourth-generation SSBN. The construction of the Yuri Dolgoruky lead submarine began in 1996, but dragged for objective reasons related to the upgrade of armaments. The Navy flag was received only but in January 2013.

The Navy currently operates three submarines of the project. The Yuri Dolgoruky K-535 operates in the Northern fleet. The Alexander Nevsky K-550 and the Vladimir Monomakh K-551 joined the Pacific fleet. Russian shipyards are building some other five submarines of this project. They will become the backbone of the underwater nuclear deterrence in the future.

Project 885 SSGN are fourth-generation multirole submarines capable of combining various missile weapons. They can engage in a broad range of combat missions ranging from antisubmarine warfare to the destruction of stationary ground targets and all types of adversary warships with Kalibr and Onix missiles. In the future, the submarines will be armed with Tsirkon missiles which can break through any air defense thanks to their high speed. Yet, homing and remotely controlled torpedoes remain the main weapon of these submarines.

At present day, the Russian Navy operates the only Severodvinsk K-560 submarine of the project which joined the Northern fleet in 2014. Some other six submarines of the upgraded project 885M are under construction, the Izvestia said.

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