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Russia Will Not Update Akula-Class Ballistic Missile Subs, Insider Says

Russia has no plans to update its massive Akula-class ballistic missile submarines given the cost of such a project, a defense industry insider said to ITAR-Tass on Wednesday (see GSN, Oct. 3, 2011).

"A complete overhaul of one Project 941 [Akula] submarine costs practically the same as building two new-generation Project 955 Yuri Dolgoruky-class submarines,” the source said, referring to the Borei-class strategic vessels that are planned to form the backbone of Russia's sea-based nuclear deterrent.

Akula-class atomic-powered submarines have been active in the Russian navy since the 1980s. At the start of the year, the navy retained only three of an original six-vessel fleet.

The Dmitry Donskoy has been used in recent years for testing next-generation Bulava ballistic missiles and the Severstal and the Arkhangelsk have been taken off sea duties while a permanent determination on their future is made, according to the report (ITAR-Tass, March 7).

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