MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Zvyozdochka shipyard in the country’s northwest and the Zvezda Far Eastern plant will be able to modernize about ten project 971 and project 949A nuclear submarines, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Chirkov said on Thursday.
"This actually means recommissioning a grouping of multi-purpose nuclear submarines with upgraded characteristics, which will operate in the Northern and Pacific Fleets," the Navy chief said on occasion of Submariner Day, which Russia is celebrating on Thursday.
The requirements for modernizing these submarines were clearly formulated by the Defense Ministry and the Navy’s command and work is proceeding under the Navy’s daily control, Chirkov said.
Profound modernization will leave only the hulls of these submarines intact, the Navy chief said.
"All armament and vital systems will be new," he said, adding new hydro-acoustic and navigation equipment, control and communication systems would be installed on submarines.
"The service life of project 971 and project 949A multirole nuclear submarines will be almost doubled while improved tactical and technical characteristics will help considerably increase the efficiency of the use of these submarines in the Russian Navy’s submarine fleet," Chirkov said.
The Russian Navy has also assigned the domestic defense industry the task to develop 5th-generation submarines, Chirkov said.
"We have formulated the task for the defense and industrial sector to develop fifth-generation submarines. This work is ongoing. There will be no pauses in the development and designing of new submarines," he said.
The need for the development of such submarines is prompted by the "objective timeframe and the cyclical nature of the use of ships and submarines, and also the swift advance of ship-building technologies and scientific and technical progress in the field of submarine-building," the Navy chief said.
Russia should look far ahead in the development of its nuclear submarine fleet to avoid any stagnation, he said.
Until 2020, Russia will work actively on building fourth-generation submarines, the Navy chief said.
"This process is accompanied by the work to maintain the combat readiness of existing-project strategic nuclear submarines and their basic armaments," the Navy chief said.