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Russia bolsters its submarine fleet

February 12, 2024 00:00:00

Amidst escalating global tensions, Russia has intensified its naval modernisation efforts, commissioning a new fleet of submarines, both nuclear and conventionally powered. On January 31, Russia added a 2,700-ton Lada class (Kronstadt) submarine at the Saint Petersburg shipyard.

Despite the Soviet Union's collapse four decades ago, Russia remains resolute in strengthening its naval capabilities, defiant of Western restrictions. Utilising its expertise in nuclear and diesel-electric power, Russia is steadily bolstering its submarine fleet, exemplified by the recent addition of medium-range and heavy conventional-powered Lada class (Kronstadt) submarines at Saint Petersburg.

Responding directly to the United States' leading nuclear-powered submarine fleet, Russia delivered a 24,000-tonne Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine armed with "Bulava" missiles and a 13,800-tonne "Yasen"-class nuclear-powered submarine equipped with cruise missiles to its Navy on December 11, 2023.

Currently, the Russian Navy operates 65 submarines, including 13 nuclear-powered ones armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles, comprising Delta-3, Delta-4, and Borei class submarines. Additionally, it has seven Oscar-2 class nuclear-powered submarines armed with cruise missiles, four Yasen class submarines, two Shira-2 class submarines, two Victor-3 class submarines, and nine Akula-class submarines, all designed for nuclear attack missions.

The fleet also consists of 21 conventionally powered submarines, including nine older Kilo-class submarines, eleven improved Kilo-class submarines, and one modern Lada class (Kronstadt) diesel-electric submarine. Notably, a highly advanced Kilo-class submarine in the Black Sea Naval Fleet suffered irreversible damage from a Ukrainian air-launched Scalp cruise missile attack last December.

Russia's commissioning of nine 'Special Mission Purpose' submarines, designed for covert military operations, continues to unsettle the Western world. While the US, UK, and French Navies possess 69, 10, and 9 nuclear-powered submarines, respectively, Russia's expanding submarine fleet underscores its strategic maritime aspirations.

Sherazur Rahman

Assistant Teacher

Singra, Natore

[email protected]

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