Analysis: Russian Navy agrees plan for Kazan SSGN acceptance trials

The Kazan Yasen-M-class SSGN of project 885M is preparing for acceptance trials in autumn. It is the first serial fourth-generation submarine of upgraded project 885M. It will fire hypersonic Tsirkon missiles which the navymen are actively testing. Experts said acceptance trials are the most important stage of testing all equipment, mechanisms and arms. The submarine is ready for combat duty after the trials, the Izvestia daily writes.
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Analysis Russian Navy agrees plan for Kazan SSGN acceptance trials 925 001Russian Navy agrees plan for Kazan SSGN acceptance trials (Picture source: Russian MoD)

Navy sources said the plan of acceptance trials had been agreed. They will be held for at least two months in autumn. If successful, the SSGN will join the Northern fleet in the end of the year.

However, sources said the deadline may be moved to 2021. The Kazan will be thoroughly tested, as it is a submarine of a new project. Delays have already been reported. The submarine had to join the fleet in 2019, but mooring trials exposed that several auxiliary mechanisms did not meet the requirements of the Defense Ministry. They had to be upgraded.

It is difficult to predict the commissioning time of a submarine with modern arms, equipment, and mechanisms, Rear Admiral and former commander of a nuclear submarine, Hero of Russia Vsevolod Khmyrov said. "The deadline may be postponed, as all mechanisms, equipment and arms are checked for compliance with specifications of the Defense Ministry. If necessary, schedules are set for the crew and the trial team to remedy drawbacks," he said.

The Kazan is 10 meters shorter than the Severodvinsk predecessor of project 885. Its living compartment was cut by 4 meters. The changes were due to modern and compact electronic arms and automatic systems.

Acceptance trials are the final and the most important test before the handover to the fleet. Mooring and running trials have been completed before them, expert Igor Kurdin said. "Acceptance trials check the systems in all imaginable and unimaginable regimes. They are held by an approved plan and a state commission accepts the submarine. Live fire with missiles and torpedoes is an important phase. The submarine also submerges to the maximum depth. It does it gradually and for a long time, as the submarine stops in specific places to check equipment operation at the depth. Emergency surfacing is obligatory to blow all ballast cisterns. Warship controls are checked at all the stages," he said.

The crew, representatives of the shipyard and counteragents in charge of various equipment are onboard during trials. They have to expose even the slightest malfunctions, Kurdin said.

Project 885 and 885M SSGN carry powerful arms, such as Kalibr cruise missiles, Onix antiship missiles, and future Tsirkon hypersonic missiles. The latter can hit sea and ground targets at a distance of over 500 km, the Izvestia said.

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