Russian Navy Ballistic Missile Submarine Knyaz Vladimir Returns to Severodvinsk After Sea Trials

The Russian Navy’s new Borei-A-class ballistic missile submarine Knyaz Vladimir returned to Severodvinsk after completing sea trials.

The submarine operated in the White Sea from May 12 after leaving Severodvinsk. The trials were initially conducted with the submarine in surfaced position and then in submerged position.

“The acceptance of the ship into the combat structure of the Navy is planned to be carried out after evaluating the results of the trials,” said a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Russian submarine Knyaz Vladimir
K-549 Knyaz Vladimir, the first upgraded Borei-A (Project 955A) class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) of the Russian Navy. Photo: Russian MoD.

The submarine completed a cycle of state trials last year. During the trials, the submarine conducted the first test-firing of a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The missile was fired by the submarine while submerged in the White Sea to the Kura Missile Test Range, located on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russian Far East.

Knyaz Vladimir is the Russian Navy’s fourth Project 955 Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) and the first of the upgraded Project 955A Borey-A class. She is named after Prince Vladimir the Great.

The submarine was laid down on 30 July 2012, floated out on 17 November 2017, and began the first stage of factory trials by late November 2018.

The submarine has a surface displacement of 14,720 tonnes and a submerged displacement of 24,000 tonnes. The Borei has a maximum operating depth of 400 meters and can develop a surface speed of 15 knots and a submerged speed of up to 29 knots. It has a sea endurance of 90 days and a crew of 107.

The submarine will be armed with the newest submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) developed in Russia, the R-30 (RSM-56) Bulava (NATO designation: SS-NX-32). Borey-A class boats have 16 missile tubes each. If armed with Bulava SLBMs with ten warheads atop each, a single Borei-class SSBN could then carry 160 warheads.

The first three Borei-class submarines – the Yury Dolgoruky, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh – have been already actively deployed by the Navy and have conducted multiple Bulava launches.

Knyaz Vladimir and its sister ships will eventually replace the Soviet-era Delta and Typhoon-class strategic submarines of the Russian Navy.

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