US: Yasen-M sub is a top-tier and rivals anything in the water

WASHINGTON — The Russian submarine Krasnoyarsk, the third of the Yasen-M class, has sophisticated stealth technology and can compete with anything the US Navy has in the water. A similar comment was made by a former U.S. Navy senior official in conversation with Peter Suciu for the online portal 19FortyFive. Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites and is also a contributing writer for Forbes.

yasen-m submarine russia
Photo credit: Naval Post

The 19FortyFive post did not mention the name of a former U.S. Navy senior official. Still, a detailed analysis is being made of the capabilities of the Russian submarine, for which BulgarianMilitary.com wrote yesterday [June 30] that Russia is starting the first sea tests of the Krasnoyarsk in the White Sea.

Information about both the Krasnoyarsk’s sophisticated stealth technology and its weaponry is still unclear. Experts on both sides of the ocean suggest that the Yasen-M class nuclear submarine could be armed with the 3M22 Tsirkon hypersonic anti-ship missile, one of the last points of pride in Russia’s missile industry. Krasnoyarsk is equipped with surface attack cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, and anti-submarine missiles.

Russia’s Krasnoyarsk submarine has often been compared to America’s latest Virginia class of submarines. However, the two have significant differences. For example, the crew of the Virginia-class submarines is just over 130 sailors, while the Krasnoyarsk has only 64.

Krasnoyarsk is powered by a fourth-generation nuclear reactor, making it the world’s first submarine with this type of reactor. He is the reason why experts [including the one at 19FortyFive] claim that the submarine will be quite quiet and hardly noticeable. The reactor is model KTP-6. This reactor is characterized by much easier water circulation than other submarines, which is achieved by the integration of a primary cooling circuit. This cooling circuit means that the circulation pumps [which are actually the source of a lot of noise] can run at intervals, ie. continuous operation of the pumps is not required.

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Photo credit: TASS

Krasnoyarsk also differs from its predecessors in another way: a single hull made of low-magnetic steel and a spherical sonar [the first Russian submarine with such a sonar]. The use of a spherical sonar forced the designers to change the design and location of the torpedo tubes – they are inclined, and their outer door is not near the bow of the submarine, but to the stern. The reason for this non-standard design lies in the size of the spherical array, which together with the towed and flank array are the main building blocks of the spherical sonar.

Admiral Foggo, who is the former Commander-in-Chief of the US Naval Forces in Europe, spoke about the qualities of the Krasnoyarsk and Yasen-M class submarines. According to him, this class of Russian submarines can reach an underwater speed of about 28 knots in a completely silent mode. “The Yasen-class submarines are very quiet, which is the most important thing in submarine warfare,” the admiral told 60 Minutes on Dec. 17.

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