The keel laying ceremony. The Generalissimo Suvorov will be the third modified Project 955A SSBN
The Borey class, the Russian Navy’s first post-Soviet ballistic missile submarine design, will form the backbone of the fleet’s strategic nuclear deterrent force after older boats are retired by 2018. Russia expects eight of the boats to enter service by 2020. The submarines displace 24,000 tons, reach speeds of 29 knots (some 54 km per hour), can dive to 450 meters and carry crews of 107 people. The vessels will be armed with up to 16 Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which have range of over 8,000 kilometers.
The missile — developed specifically for the new Borey-class — has suffered a string of failures in past tests.
Last September during state trials of the Aleksander Nevsky nuclear-powered submarine a Bulava missile experienced a malfunction. Following this incident Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered to hold five additional launches of Bulava missiles.
Despite the test failures, the Russian military insisted there is no alternative to the Bulava as the main armament for Russia’s new Borey-class strategic missile submarines.
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