The new Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines will serve for more than 30 years due to planned maintenance and modernization. Each commissioned Borei-class SSBN costs more than 23 billion Russian Rubles.
Eight submarines will join and become the backbone of the Russian Strategic Naval Forces. They are slowly replacing the ageing Delta III-class and the Typhoon-class SSBN.
Powered by a nuclear reactor, the Borei-class SSBN can reach 30 knots submerged and can dive to 1,400+ feet. With a crew of 107, its range is unlimited but restricted by food supply.
Presently, three Borei-class submarines are operational:
- K-535 Yury Dolgorukiy – commissioned on 10 January 2013, Northern Fleet.
- K-550 Aleksandr Nevskiy – commissioned on 21 December 2013, Pacific Fleet.
- K-551 Vladimir Monomakh – commissioned on 19 December 2014, Pacific Fleet.
Armed with 16 Bulava missiles, the Borei-class SSBN will be able to launch them to a range up to 10,000 kilometers. The Bulava missile is based on the Topol-M missile and can carry six to ten re-entry vehicles with a yield of 100kt-150kt each.
The Borei-class SSBN also carry SS-N-15 missiles, capable of hitting warships up to 45 kilometers.
Two additional Borei-class SSBN are expected to be commissioned in 2015. One of them will be named the K-??? Knyaz Vladimir and has been laid down on 30 July 2012.
The Knyaz Vladimir is believed to be the first Borei II-class SSBN and could be crewed by 130 sailors. With modifications, the Borei II-class will be able to carry 20 Bulava missiles, four more than the original Borei-class SSBN.
The Borei-class is the first class of submarines developped by Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. This new class of submarines will also allow Russia to plan longer sea sorties and sail in waters that have not seen a Russian SSBN since the fall of the Soviet Union.