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MOSCOW, March 7 (Itar-Tass) — Russia will not modernize its Project 941 Akula-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines due to financial considerations, a well-informed source in the Russian defence sector told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“A complete overhaul of one Project 941 submarine costs practically the same as building two new-generation Project 955 Yuri Dolgoruky-class submarines,” the source said.
The Project 941 or Akula-class submarines (NATO reporting name Typhoon) have been deployed in the Soviet and then Russian Navy since the 1980s. With a submerged displacement of up to 49,000 tons, a length of 175 meters and a width of 22.8 meters, the Akula-class submarines are the largest class of submarine ever built, large enough to accommodate decent living facilities for the crew of 170 when submerged for months on end. The Akula-class submarine was developed by the St. Petersburg-based Rubin Design Bureau with the objective to match the United States’ sea-launched ballistic missile armament of Ohio-class submarines. The cost of the headship exceeded 525 million roubles at 1980 values.
In all, six such submarines were built at the Sevmash shipyards in Severodvinsk in the period from 1981 to 1989. As of the beginning of 2012, the Russian Navy had three Akula-class submarines. Overhauled at the Sevmash shipyards, the Dmitry Donskoy (TK-208) nuclear ballistic missile submarine was used to carry out test launches of Bulava sea-launched ballistic missiles. Two other Project 941 submarines, the Arkhangelsk (TK-17) and the Severstal (TK-20), were put in reserve several years ago until a final decision of their future lot is taken.