TechRussian Navy commissions first mass-produced 'Kronshtad' submarine amid design challenges

Russian Navy commissions first mass-produced 'Kronshtad' submarine amid design challenges

Submarine B-585 Sankt Petersburg of the Lada type
Submarine B-585 Sankt Petersburg of the Lada type
Images source: © Sputnik

2:47 PM EST, February 1, 2024, updated: 4:32 AM EST, March 7, 2024

According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the B-586 "Kronshtad" submarine has been incorporated into the 161st submarine brigade of the Northern Fleet. It is noteworthy as the first mass-produced submarine of Project 677 (Type Lada). Over the past 10 years, as The War Zone points out, the Russian Navy has accepted 24 submarines of various types, which is an eight-fold increase compared to the previous decade.

Overview of Project 677 (Type Lada) submarines

Project 677 (Type Lada) submarines were designed to succeed the Kilo-class units, also known as the Warsawclass, which still comprise a significant component of the Russian submarine fleet. However, the development of Project 677 encountered some obstacles. Significant delays occurred, and its production in 2011 was dubious. The wait time for new vessels was so protracted that the Russians contemplated pursuing the construction of less advanced, modified units of Project 636.3.

The story of the B-585 Sankt Petersburg, the first unit of Project 677, is worth recounting. Its construction began in 1997. The ship was launched in 2004 and finally commissioned in 2010. Today, the ship, designated as an experimental unit, has been retired. As Łukasz Michalik reported, it needed repairs so costly that it would have been more cost-effective to construct an entirely new vessel instead. Hence, the Russians decided to dismantle it.

All indications suggest that Project 677 vessels are grappling with significant design issues, leading to delays in delivery. For example, the B-586 "Kronshtad" construction began in 2005. The ship was launched in 2018 and only integrated into service many years later, in January 2024. A similar situation applies to the second mass-produced unit of Project 677 (Type Lada), the B-587 "Velikiy Luki", which commenced sea trials at the end of 2023.

Ships produced by the Rubin Design Bureau measure about 230 feet long and displace 2,976 tons. The Russians claim these vessels can dive to depths of up to 984 feet and, due to their high level of automation, require a crew of merely 35 personnel. They're said to be quieter than their predecessors, and their design enables them to operate in shallow waters, such as the Baltic Sea. The ship can reach a maximum speed of 21 knots on the surface and up to 10 knots underwater. Its range is estimated at 7,500 nautical miles.

The ship is equipped with six 533 mm torpedo tubes, which, in addition to torpedoes and mines, can launch Kalibr cruise missiles against land and sea targets. The ship can additionally be armed with portable anti-aircraft missile systems, such as the 9K333 Verba, also known as MANPADS.

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