The Russian Navy has added a nuclear submarine, three warships, two helicopters and a big batch of 46 Kalibr cruise missiles in just the first three months of this year.
The submarine that was added to the ever-growing Russian fleet is strategic underwater missile cruiser Tula - a Delta IV class nuclear submarine. "The Navy took delivery of the repaired Project 667BDRM strategic underwater missile cruiser Tula, three warships and support vessels of the auxiliary fleet, two helicopters and 46 Kalibr tactical cruise missiles," Yuri Borisov deputy defense minister said on the single day of military output acceptance, reports Tass.
The submarine was originally built in 1987, reports NavalToday. It has seen several rounds of upgrades and was given the capacity to carry and launch ballistic missiles in 2004. Early last year, it was "refit" and additional equipment and calibration systems were applied. The delivery of the refurbished nuclear submarine was reportedly expected to happen in the fourth quarter of 2017, but it was delayed until Q1 2018.
Kalibr missiles that the Tula will launch is comparable to the US Tomahawk missile, reports the National Interest. These are long-range cruise missiles that can accurately reach targets up to 1,500 km away. The missile varies in length between six and nine meters and is capable of delivering either a conventional or a nuclear warhead. There is a version of the Kalibr that is used as an anti-ship missile that can be launched from a submarine, cover vast distances and as it approaches its target, drop to an altitude of just 4.6 meters and throttle from its cruising speed of Mach 0.8 to Mach 3 before taking out a ship. This makes it extremely difficult to spot, let alone defend against.
It is not clear at this time what type of helicopter the Russian Navy took delivery of. One of the three warships that the Navy has accepted for service is the Project 23120 logistics support ship "Elbrus" built at the Severnaya Verf shipyard, notes Tass.
Codenamed Longvinik, these warships were first designed and built in the summer of 2012, according to GlobalSecurity.org. Longvinik ships are intended to provide towing security, transport dry cargo, and offer assistance to crews of ships and vessels in distress. It reportedly has the ability to operate in the Arctic seas all year round. The vessel is 95 meters long and 22 meters wide and has a range of over 9,000 km. Construction of Elbrus started in June 2015, notes the report.