MOSCOW, (BM) – “The placement of Kalibrs on nuclear submarines is the number one task for the defense of Russia.” The Captain of the first rank of the reserve Mikhail Nenashev said this in front of the Vzglyad newspaper, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. He thus commented on a statement from a source in the military-industrial complex that the Russian Navy’s multi-role nuclear submarines would be armed with Kalibr, Onyx, and Zircon missiles.
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“Such rearmament will increase the efficiency of the entire fleet and add serious points to our country in international politics. Further, there is the question of placing these systems on surface ships,” said the chairman of the All-Russian Fleet Support Movement, Captain First Rank Mikhail Nenashev.
Earlier, a military-industrial complex source said that all multipurpose nuclear submarines (NPS) of the Russian Navy of projects 971, 949A, and 885 would be armed with Kalibr Onyx and Zircon missiles. According to the source, “the containers for these missiles are universal.”
At the moment, these nuclear submarines are routinely armed with mine and torpedo weapons. The source also noted that the newest Project 885 Yasen submarines – common carriers of Caliber and Onyx – will also be additionally equipped with Zircons.
“The ammunition load of nuclear submarines can be configured taking into account the tasks to be performed,” Maxim Shepovalenko, a military expert, deputy director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (AST), told the Vzglyad newspaper.
Russian missiles – part of the modernization of the Navy
In general, the expert noted, equipping all nuclear submarines with missiles of the latest type, including hypersonic ones, is part of the modernization of the Navy. “Nuclear submarines are being rearmed with missiles as planned. Nuclear submarines of 885 and 949 are submarine cruisers, and the boats of project 885 “Ash” are a completely new type. The ships of the 971 project are multipurpose submarines,” Shepovalenko explained.
In the 1980s, Soviet submarines were equipped with similar missiles for operations on coastal targets, the source said. “But under agreements with the Americans, we quickly removed the missiles first to the warehouses, and then we took them out of operation,” the expert noted.
Now it is assumed that the Navy operates in two guises: “fleet against fleet” and “fleet against coast” – “this means that submarines are becoming a universal platform for actions against enemy ships and its coastal facilities,” Shepovalenko explained.
Such tactics are inherent in the fleets of all technically developed states; in particular, this is the central concept for the development of the US Navy, the deputy director of the AST Center emphasized.
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Syria has been a field test for the Kalibr missile
According to Nenashev, Kalibr missiles have already proved their high efficiency in the war against international terrorism in Syria when a high-precision missile disarming strike is delivered from the Caspian Sea 1.5 thousand kilometers away. Thus, our Kalibrs destroyed entire systems of terrorists”, recalled the interlocutor.
“Therefore, now,” added Nenashev, “the number one task is to deploy these weapons on nuclear submarines. They are already installed on diesel-electric submarines. This is a powerful decision because it will strengthen the overall defense and security system of our country.”
The expert explained the Zircon hypersonic missiles’ particular emphasis with their expected effectiveness in a region of increased interest from many countries – the Arctic.
Kalibr cruise missiles are designed to destroy targets on the ground; Onyx missiles are anti-ship missiles. Zircon hypersonic missiles are undergoing a testing phase.
Let us recall that Russia built project 971 submarines from 1976 to 1992, Project 949A – from 1985 to 1996, and Project 885 submarines are being made now. Russia put the lead boat “Severodvinsk” into service in 2010. The first serial submarine, “Kazan” of project 885A, will enter the fleet’s combat strength in 2021. A total of ten boats for this project should be built.
Earlier, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, said that the service life of the most numerous multipurpose nuclear submarines in the Russian Navy, projects 949A and 971, will be doubled, and they will be equipped with new weapons.
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