Monday, March 14, 2011

Current Status Of Russian Nuclear Arsenal [Part 2]

Part 1  contd...

The Russian strategic fleet includes 12 strategic missile submarines, whose missiles can carry 576 nuclear warheads. Bases of the Northern Fleet host six 667BDRM (Delta IV) submarines, which carry 96 R-29RM (SS-N-23) launchers. The only remaining Pacific Fleet base hosts four 667BDR (Delta III) submarines, which carry 64 R-29R (SS-N-18) missiles.

Strategic Fleet

Strategic naval forces are an integral part of the Russian Navy, which is a separate service of the Russia's Armed Forces. The current Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Vladimir Vysotskiy, was appointed to this post on 12 September 2007.

As of end of 2010, the Navy included 12 strategic submarines of four different types. The submarines can carry 160 sea-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) that can carry 576 nuclear warheads.

Number of submarines


Strategic submarines

Number of SLBMs and their type

Total warheads

Project 667BDR (Delta III)


64 R-29R (SS-N-18)




Project 667BDRM (Delta IV)



96 R-29RM (SS-N-23)



Project 941 (Typhoon)






Project 955



16 R-30 Bulava








[1] Two submarines are undergoing overhaul.
[2] One submarine of the Project 941 type has been refitted to carry a new Bulava missile system.
[3] The first submarine of this class, Yuri Dolgorukiy, has not been equipped with missiles yet.

Submarine bases

The Russian Navy includes four fleets -- the Northern Fleet, the Pacific Fleet, the Baltic Fleet, and the Black Sea Fleet. Strategic submarines are deployed with the Northern Fleet and the Pacific Fleet.

Northern Fleet

Northern Fleet headquarters is located in Severomorsk (Murmansk oblast). The fleet includes a unified command of strategic submarines.

The submarine units based in Gadzhiyevo (Yagelnaya Bay, Sayda Inlet) include five active Project 667BDRM (Delta IV) submarines - K-51 Verkhoturie, K-84 Ekaterinburg, K-114 Tula, K-117 Bryansk, and K-18 Karelia. One Project 667BDRM submarines - K-407 Novomoskovsk - is currently undergoing overhaul. It is expected to return to active service in 2011.

Pacific Fleet

Pacific Fleet headquarters is located in Vladivostok. Strategic submarines of the Pacific Fleet are included into the 16th Squadron, based in Vilyuchinsk (Rybachiy, Krasheninnikov Bay, Kamchatka Peninsula). The squadron includes four Project 667BDR submarines - K-211 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, K-223 Podolsk, K-433 Sv. Georgiy Pobedonosets, and K-44 Ryazan, which was transferred to Vilyuchinsk from the Northern Fleet.

Strategic submarines

All currently deployed strategic submarines were developed at the Rubin Central Design Bureau of Naval Equipment (St-Petersburg). All currently deployed strategic submarines were built at the Northern Machine-Building Production Association (Severodvinsk, Archangelsk oblast).

Submarines of the Project 667BDR (Delta III) class entered service in 1976-1982. The total of 14 ships of this class were built. These submarines carry the D-16R missile system with 16 R-29R (SS-N-18) missiles. Submarines of this class are being withdrawn from service. At the same time, in 2007, one submarine of this class, K-44 Ryazan, returned to service from overhaul.

Submarines of the Project 667BDRM (Delta IV) class entered service in 1985-1991. The total of 7 ships of this class were built, of which one (K-64 Vladimir) has been converted into a special-forces submarine. Submarines of this class carry the D-16RM missile system with 16 R-29RM (SS-N-23) missiles. The current plans call for keeping six 667BDRM submarines in service, so the submarines are undergoing overhaul during which they are equipped with new missiles. Launch tests of the new version of the R-29RM missile, also known as Sineva, were completed in June 2004 and it was accepted for service in July 2007. Five submarines of this class - K-51 Verkhoturie, K-84 Ekaterinburg, K-114 Tula, K-117 Bryansk, and K-18 Karelia - have completed overhaul already.

Project 941 (Typhoon) submarines were deployed in 1981-1989. The total of six submarines of this class were built. Submarines of this class carry the D-19 missile system with 20 R-39 (SS-N-20) missiles. Since the missiles have reached end of their service lives, Project 941 submarines have been withdrawn from service. The only exception is the lead ship of the class, TK-208 Dmitry Donskoy, which has been refitted for tests of a new missile system, R-30 Bulava.

In 1996 Russia began construction of a strategic submarine of a new class, Project 955 (also known as Borey or Yuri Dolgorukiy). It left the dry dock in April 2007 and began sea trials in 2008. Construction of a second submarine of this type, Aleksandr Nevskiy, began in March 2004, and the third, Vladimir Monomakh - in March 2006. The new submarines will carry 16 launchers of a new missile, known as Bulava.

Sea-launched ballistic missiles

All currently deployed sea-launched ballistic missiles were developed at the Machine-Building Design Bureau (Miass, Chelyabinsk oblast). The design bureau is currently named the V. P. Makeyev State Missile Center.

R-29R (SS-N-18) missiles are deployed on Project 667BDR submarines. The system was accepted for service in 1979. The missile has two liquid-fuel stages and carries three warheads. The missiles were produced at the Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant.

R-29RM (SS-N-23) missiles are deployed on Project 667BDRM submarines. The system was accepted for service in 1986. The missile has three liquid-fuel stages (the third stage also works as a bus) and carries four warheads. In 1999 Russia resumed production of these missiles, in a modification known as Sineva, to be deployed on Project 667BDRM submarines during overhaul. The missiles are produced at the Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant.

Russia is currently developing a new sea-launched ballistic missile, known as R-30 Bulava. Development of this missile is done at the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. Flight tests of the missile began in September 2005. The new missile system is to be deployed on Project 955 submarines, which will carry 16 missiles. For the purposes of START Treaty, Bulava was declared as carrying six warheads.



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