Nikolai Novichkov, IHS Janes
19 January 2016
The delivery of Russia's second and third Lada-class (Project 677) diesel-electric attack submarines will be delayed until 2019, according to Russian Navy and defence industry sources.
Admiralty Shipyard, which builds the submarines, has had its contract for the project changed as a result, the company's first deputy director general, Andrei Bystrov, stated.
A source in the Russian Navy Main Staff explained that the slowed construction of the second and third submarines was so that "due account [is] taken of the shortcomings revealed during the Northern Fleet's operation of the Project 677 lead ship, St Petersburg ". In addition, although the Russian Navy has planned for the class to be fitted with an air-independent propulsion plant (AIP), this will now not be the case as development of an AIP has been pushed back beyond 2020. "We have to wait until it [AIP] has passed its sea trials," the naval staff source said.
The construction of Project 677 submarines has been under way for almost 20 years; the lead ship, St Petersburg , was laid down in 1997 and has been in operational evaluation since its service entry in 2010. Kronstadt and Velikiy Luki were laid down in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Their construction was put on hold and then restarted only in 2013. In 2015 a defence industry source told IHS Jane's that the navy would receive these two Lada-class submarines in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The Russian Navy is counting on receiving AIP power plants for submarines in 2021-2022, the head of the Russian Navy's shipbuilding department, Captain (1st Rank) Vladimir Tryapichnikov, said. "We presume that an AIP will be developed in the near future, and the Rubin Design Bureau has started such work recently. They have laid a good foundation … Rubin's designers keep on working hard [to develop the AIP], and we believe it will be developed in 2021-2022," he said.