The ultimate Russian submarine China fears

Both the Soviet Union and the Russian Navy had a keen interest in submarines. This happened mainly because of the position of the Russians in the world and the construction of their fleet. When you consider that much of Russia’s coastline is frozen and submarines are very versatile ships, it makes sense that they were key weapons for his fleet.

Even today, the Russian Navy develops, builds and uses very advanced equipment military Submarines that can compete with the best in the world.

The newest and most powerful Yasen-class (or Graney-class) is a collection of nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines.

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An overview

Yasen-class submarine model on displayVia: Wikimedia Commons

The Yasel-class submarines, also known as the Graney-class, are nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines built by Sevmash for the Russian Navy. They were designed by Malakhit and construction began in 1993. So far there are two active boats, five are under construction and a total of ten submarines are planned. They are the successors to the Oscar and Akula classes and are being superseded by the Laika class, nuclear-powered, multipurpose submarines of the fifth generation. The first ship entered the Russian Navy in 2013, and the cost of each ship is estimated at $ 800 million.

The submarines have surfaced a displacement of 8,600 tons and 13,800 tons underwater. There the Graney class includes two different designs for their ships; the project 885 Yasen and the 885 Yasen-M. The first is 457 feet (140 m) long and the second is 430 feet (130 m) long. The reactor used in this class is the OK-650KPM pressurized water reactor. The maximum speed of the submarine is; 20 knots (23 mph) when surfaced, 28 knots (52 mph) when submerged and in silent mode, and 35 knots (40 mph) maximum when underwater. It has a safe depth of 1,475 feet and a crush depth of 2,160 feet. The Yasen carries 85 men and the smaller Yasen-M has a crew of 64.

The submarines are equipped with the Rim Hat ESM / ECM Snoop Pair Surface Search Radar. They are the first Russian submarines with a spherical sonar, the MGK-600 Irtysh-Amfora. The fourth generation reactor in combination with modern systems gives the submarine a very quiet profile underwater.

The class carries missiles for every possible threat such as the P-800 Oniks SLCM, the 3M54K1 supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, the 91R1 anti-submarine and the 3M14K for land targets. Future upgrades will allow the Yasen-class to launch the 3M22 Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles. It is estimated that the total capacity of each submarine is 32 calibr or 24 Oniks cruise missiles (but based on Wikipedia, other sources give 40 calibr and 32 Oniks).

There are eight vertical launch vehicles in the 855 Yasen and ten of them in the 855M Yasen-M. There are other cruise missile options like the Kh-101. If necessary, cruise missiles can be stored in the room used by torpedoes. The submarines have ten 533 mm torpedo tubes, mines and anti-submarine missiles like the RPK-7.

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Here’s why China (and other navies) fear it

Yasen-class submarine on displayOn Facebook

If we compare the Yasen-class to other nuclear powered submarines from the western or eastern navies, we will find that for the most part the Graney submarines are larger and carry more missiles. They are also quiet and have plans to carry powerful hypersonic weapons. The submarines are versatile options and, when combined with their quiet operation, are the Chinese fleet’s worst nightmare. To sum up, the newest Yasen class is the most advanced and powerful class of submarines ever to serve in the Soviet and Russian navies.

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Georgios Mavridis
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