Russian multipurpose nuclear submarine will have a Kalibr-M cruise missile

MOSCOW, (BM) – TASS, citing a source in the military-industrial complex, reports that the new project 885 M Yasen-M multipurpose nuclear submarine will have a new Kalibr-M cruise missile, learned It will have a significantly greater flight range than the base model – over 4 thousand kilometers.

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It must be said that the Novator design bureau in Yekaterinburg will have ample time to make a rocket by the start of testing a new submarine. It is the new one, although it differs from the Ash tree that has been in operation in the Northern Fleet for six years only by the letter “M”, which means “modernized”.

True, not all Yaseni-Ms will be armed with the new missile, the source claims. Naturally, Kazan, which is now undergoing factory tests, will not have it. Nor will it be on the “Novosibirsk”, which is preparing for mooring trials. And also at the “Krasnoyarsk”, “Arkhangelsk”, “Perm” and “Ulyanovsk” under construction.

“Calibr-M” will arm two boats laid down at Sevmash on July 20, 2020 – “Voronezh” and “Vladivostok”. That is, the 7th and 8th boats of the modernized series. Their launching is scheduled for December 2025 (Voronezh) and December 2026 (Vladivostok). They are to be handed over to the Navy in 2027 and in 2028. Voronezh will go to the Northern Fleet, Vladivostok to the Pacific Fleet.

They started talking about the modernization of “Caliber” in order to increase the flight range back in 2018. It was reported that research is underway. And that the projected range of the missile should increase from 2600 km to 4500 km. And they added that the missile warhead would reach a ton. It is quite clear that two such increments at once are unlikely according to the laws of physics.

In 2019, the process of creating a rocket has become more complicated. If earlier it was intended exclusively for use on surface ships and submarines, then in connection with the withdrawal of the United States from the Treaty on Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, a ground-based medium-range missile was needed.

And another important point. The Caliber-M should be equipped with both conventional and nuclear warheads. The power of the nuclear warhead is not reported. At the same time, it is extremely important – whether it will be a strategic charge of tens or even hundreds of kilotons, or tactical with a power not exceeding 5-10 kilotons. If this is the first, strategic, option, then it will be necessary to adjust the redistribution of nuclear warheads, the total number of which is regulated by the strategic arms treaty.

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However, this agreement, judging by the statements of the US State Department, can be destroyed. Unilaterally, which will immediately entail the withdrawal from it and Russia.

That is, the Yasen-M multipurpose boats will actually become strategic submarine missile carriers. Moreover, it may happen that their strike potential will be higher than that of the Project 955 Borei SSBNs. Borey is equipped with 16 Bulava ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. The Yasen-M can carry 50 Kalibr cruise missiles. True, the modified missiles will enter less – 40.

This is because the Caliber-M hull will be enlarged to accommodate more fuel. According to existing information, the missile diameter has been increased from 533 mm (standard for both the launcher and torpedo tubes) to 670 mm. And this is the diameter of the Onyx supersonic anti-ship missile. The modified boat carries 40 Onyxes in vertical launchers.

It is quite understandable that the speed characteristics of the Caliber will be carried over to the Caliber-M. That is, it will be a subsonic rocket capable of developing a supersonic speed of about 2.7-2.9 M. in the final section of the route.

A source told TASS that “the new multipurpose submarines will be carriers of fundamentally new “Calibr-M ” with a firing range of over 4 thousand km. The new submarines will be better prepared for the mission of non-nuclear strategic deterrence than their predecessors. Of course, if nuclear warheads are not “screwed” onto the missiles.

It must be said that the term “non-nuclear strategic deterrence” (NSS), which appeared relatively recently, has not yet “crystallized”. That is, there are no clear criteria. Therefore, the arsenal of such deterrence is extensive – from diplomatic influence in order to make the enemy think again and economic pressure to delivering devastating non-nuclear strikes with the help of the army.

The TASS source meant the use of force on the enemy. And it is the more effective, the less the enemy has the ability to stop him. The concept of the NSS began to be actively promoted by the military with the advent of high-precision weapons with a large strategic range. These weapons primarily include sea-based missile weapons – American Tomahawks and Russian Calibers. And also aviation cruise missiles – Kh-55 and Kh-101. The United States has nothing special to oppose.

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However, with the development of missile defense systems, the relevance of the above weapons has somewhat decreased. And rockets came to the fore, which with almost one hundred percent probability are capable of reaching the target. This is the Iskander-M OTRK. And also maneuvering hypersonic or near-hypersonic missiles. Introduced into service “Dagger”. Aviation missile Kh-32. And also the sea-based anti-ship missile “Zircon”, the tests of which are coming to an end. And the carrier of this missile will be the Yasen-M submarine. Probably, these will be the same boats that will receive the Caliber-M – Voronezh and Vladivostok. But maybe some previous boats, for example, “Perm” and “Ulyanovsk”. After all, “Zircon”, in contrast to “Caliber-M”, already exists not only in blueprints, but also in hardware.

However, if we compare the “Caliber-M” with the “Tomahawk”, then the Russian missile has a much greater potential for the NSS. The range is almost 2 times greater. And also the speed when entering the enemy’s missile defense zone should increase to almost 3 M. So it is impossible to disagree with the TASS source: “The new submarines will be better prepared for the mission of non-nuclear strategic deterrence in comparison with their predecessors.”

However, this upgrade of the boat’s status should not be due to the new missile alone. More precisely two, the first of which should still be “Zircon”. The quality of “Ash-M” itself has significantly advanced in relation to “Ash”.

A lot has changed on the new boat. Equipment has been strengthened, primarily electronic. The contours were changed, measures were taken to further reduce noise. And now in this most important parameter “Ash-M” surpasses the American multipurpose “Virginia”. But at the same time, it is slightly inferior to Seawulf, in the creation of which the Americans have invested enormous funds. That is why only three such superboats were built.

The hydroacoustic system (GAS) on the Yasene-M is built on a more progressive principle, which implies an increase in sensitivity and selectivity. For this, the designers of the Malakhit Design Bureau have radically changed the layout of equipment and weapons. The front of the boat is freed from torpedo tubes. For the first time in the history of the submarine fleet, they were shifted to the center. The vacated space was given over to sonar equipment, both passive and active. In addition to the bow antenna, the Irtysh-Amphora GAS uses two more, located on the sides of the boat.

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