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Russia to Update Nuclear-Armed Submarines, Insider Says

Russia intends to carry out significant updates to two submarines that carry nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, ITAR-Tass reported on Wednesday (see GSN, March 7).

The modifications to the Project 971 vessels Leopard and Volk "will be extended, and the submarines will be upgraded to Project 971M. Even the submarine's nuclear power units will be transformed," said an insider at the Zvezdochka facility in Severodvinsk.

Alterations to the vessels would include changes to their contact, directional and sound components. The Russian navy's Northern Fleet is scheduled near the end of 2014 to take custody of the Leopard, which is now at the Zvezdochka facility.

Both vessels carry nuclear-armed RK-55 Granat cruise missiles (ITAR-Tass, June 13).

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