According to the design bureau’s director, Saint Petersburg is successfully completing trial operation period at the Northern Fleet: the sub has not only proved the design characteristics, but even outclassed them. Kronshtadt integrated not only tested solutions, but also those scientific and technical achievements that are yet to be approved, Vilnit added. Designers are confident in successful application of the new solutions, said the director of Rubin design bureau.
"In contrast to Kilo-class, Lada subs are single-hulled. Their draught is less, so these submarines can operate in shallower depths. Reflection surface of Project 677 subs is almost half as much as that of Project 636, thus in any dueling situation Lada is less visible. In terms of physical fields characteristics, Lada outclasses ships of the previous projects, not to mention that she has radically different sonar system, radar equipment, movement parameters, even rubber coating of other kind", said Igor Vilnit.Also, Kronshtadt is distinguished by the advanced control systems for onboard technical facilities, electric propulsion and navigation.
Vilnit refused to name the certain models of new torpedoes that Lada-class submarines are to be armed with. Alongside with that, he mentioned that the sub’s design allowed using of the whole range of torpedo weapons, including the future ones.
Answering the question of Mil.Press Today about the digitalization and 3D design/repair technologies, Igor Vilnit said Rubin shipyard had successfully mastered methods and principles of three-dimensional design. "I’m talking not only about imaging of the sub and its systems in 3D format, but particularly about designing, with entry of characteristics and parameters of all submarine’s systems into the model".
Significantly, the new technologies are used throughout all stages of the sub’s lifecycle, not only at designing, building or overhaul phases, emphasized the official.
Displacement of Project 677 Lada submarines is 1,765 tons, hull length is 66.8 meters, beam is 7.1 meters. Submerged speed is up to 21 knots, diving depth is down to 300 meters, endurance is 45 days. Crew is 36 men. The subs are equipped with six 533-mm torpedo tubes. Ammo reserve is 18 torpedoes.
The lead Lada-class submarine, Saint Petersburg, was keel-laid at Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard back on December 26, 1997. The sub was launched on October 28, 2004. The first phase of sea trials ended in December 2005, though then the schedule was revised due to subcontractors. After that, commissioning date was deferred many times. Since 2010, Saint Petersburg has been in trial operation at the Northern Fleet.
Kronshtadt was laid down in July 2005. Four years after, the project was frozen, and in 2013 Russian defense ministry signed a contract for completion of the sub under an amended project. According to Igor Vilnit, director general at Rubin design bureau, the submarine will join the Russian Navy in 2019.
Completion of construction of the third sub, Velikiye Luki, is scheduled in 2021.
According to Alexander Buzakov, director general of Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard, contracts for two other Project 677 diesel electric submarines are to be concluded in 2019.