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Research into Russia’s fifth generation subs well in progress — Navy’s commander

According to a TASS' source in the defense and industrial complex, the hypersonic missiles Tsirkon will be one of the strike weapons the yet-to-be created submarine will carry

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Research is well in progress into Russia’s fifth-generation submarines, the Navy’s commander-in-chief, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, told the Russian army daily Krasnaya Zvezda in an interview.

"Currently Russia is building fourth generation submarines, but we are obliged to look ahead. This is an imperative of our time and of progress in science and engineering that concerns the Navy’s development. It is common knowledge that research into fifth generation submarines is well underway. They are to boast far better parameters," Yevmenov promised.

On December 24, 2019, Russia’s Federation Council (parliament's upper house) memos said that Russia’s future fifth generation nuclear powered submarines of the Laika project (also called Husky) will be configured to carry ballistic and anti-ship missiles.

Earlier, a source in the defense and industrial complex told TASS that the Marine Engineering Bureau Malakhit had finalized the image of a multirole nuclear powered fifth-generation submarine Husky and started the next phase of the project — research and development work codenamed Laika.

According to the source, the hypersonic missiles Tsirkon will be one of the strike weapons the yet-to-be created submarine will carry. Laika will have modular design and an integrated artificial intelligence-based combat control system.

Such submarines will be commissioned to perform a variety of tasks, including strategic non-nuclear deterrence.

Projects 971 and 949 submarines

The life cycle of Russia’s submarines of projects 971 and 949 will in fact double as a result of timely repairs and a more reasonable approach to overhaul, Nikolai Yevmenov stated.

"We will push ahead with the repairs and upgrade of our nuclear-powered submarines, such as projects 667BDRM Delfin (NATO’s reporting name Delta IV), 971 and 949. It is noteworthy that such rational and logical approach to repairs and overhaul will in fact double the life cycles of projects 971 and 949," Yevmenov said.

Project 971 was designed for hunting enemy submarines and groups of surface ships and attacking the enemy’s surface facilities. It is armed with eight torpedo tubes capable of firing both torpedoes and cruise missiles.

The Project 949A sub is 155 meters long. It has a displacement of 24,000 tonnes, maximum depth of 600 meters, underwater speed of up to 32 knots and a crew of 107. The submarines of this type are armed with 24 launchers of cruise missiles Granit (having a range of about 500 kilometers) and six torpedo tubes.

On November 8, 2019, Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko unveiled plans for arming one of the 949A projects submarines, The Irkutsk, with hypersonic cruise missiles Tsirkon.