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Russia Escalates Construction of “Yasen,” Its Most Dangerous Nuclear Submarine

According to Russian media reports, five additional Yasen-class nuclear submarines are currently in various stages of construction at the shipyard owned by Sevmash, the sole entity responsible for building nuclear submarines in Russia.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Russia has escalated the construction of its Yasen-class nuclear submarines, recognized by Washington as an underwater threat that frequently “assert their presence” in waters near the United States in recent times.

According to Russian media reports, there are five more Yasen-class nuclear submarines in various stages of construction at the shipyard owned by Sevmash, which is the sole entity responsible for building nuclear submarines in Russia.

The five Yasen-class submarines currently under construction are named “Arkhangelsk,” “Perm,” “Ulyanovsk,” “Voronezh,” and “Vladivostok,” with all these submarines expected to enter service between next year and 2028.

 This month, Sevmash is expected to launch the K-564 Arkhangelsk, the latest Yasen-class nuclear submarine for the Russian Navy.

All these Yasen-class nuclear submarines are being constructed despite Russia facing stringent economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.

Kapal Selam
Yasen-class nuclear submarine.

 

The economic and financial sanctions are undeniably impacting Russia’s economy.

However, in the realm of defense and military, it is reported that Russia has increased its annual defense budget to $62 billion (RM279 billion) as tensions between Moscow and Washington escalate due to the conflict in Ukraine.

In total, the Russian Navy is poised to possess 12 Yasen-class nuclear submarines in the coming years, with their deployment expected in the Northern Fleet and the Pacific Fleet.

Currently, three Yasen-class submarines will serve in Zapadnaya Litsa in the Northern Fleet, while another six will operate in Vilyuchinsk in the Pacific Fleet.

Russian media reports on the construction of five more Yasen-class submarines may raise concerns in the United States, which has already expressed apprehension about the increased frequency of these nuclear-powered submarines “asserting their presence” in nearby waters.

 Senior officials of the U.S. Navy have voiced their concerns about the heightened frequency of the “emergence” of Russian nuclear-powered submarines in the coastal waters of the U.S., a situation that poses a threat to the country’s security.

According to Michael Peterson, the director of the Russia Maritime Studies Institute (RMSI), there are numerous signs indicating that Russia has intensified the deployment of its nuclear-powered submarines in the coastal waters near the United States.

Yasen

The deployment of both conventional and nuclear-powered submarines is not limited to the coastal areas of the U.S. but also extends to the Mediterranean and European regions.

Peterson notes that Moscow’s current actions mirror those of the Soviet Union during the Cold War era.

The strategy becomes clearer as Russian President Vladimir Putin and top military leaders review various assets of the naval forces, including the latest nuclear-powered submarine, Generalissimus Suvorov, capable of launching nuclear-guided missiles.

President Putin emphasizes that Russia will build more nuclear-powered submarines to “ensure the country’s security for the coming decades.”

 Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has tirelessly sought to strengthen its nuclear-powered submarine fleet.

 In recent years, Moscow has developed several types of nuclear-powered submarines capable of reaching strategic locations in the United States and Europe.

With an estimated ownership of 58 nuclear-powered submarines across various classes, Russia’s nuclear-powered naval assets can be deployed to any location globally, including the coastal waters of the U.S.

Severodvinsk
Yasen-class submarine “Severodvinsk” while launching a missile.

 

The Russian military’s actions in deploying submarines to appear in U.S. coastal waters are seen as a challenge to U.S. Navy commanders and, to some extent, erode Washington’s military influence.

In October of last year, General Glen VanHerck, the director of US Northern Command and NORAD, issued a warning about the increased presence of Severodvinsk-class nuclear-powered submarines in the coastal waters of the U.S.

Senior U.S. military officials state that Russia poses the greatest threat to their military forces. “They have just moved their submarines (Severodvinsk class) to the Pacific.”

Commander of the U.S. Navy Intelligence Office, Admiral Michael Studeman, reportedly stated that Severodvinsk-class or Yasen-class submarines are highly dangerous.

“Submarines (Yasen-class) are very modern and have diverse capabilities. These submarines are highly active,” said Studeman, adding that Russian submarines have begun patrolling waters in Europe, thereby jeopardizing the interests of the United States.

Russian submarines are also present in the waters of the Pacific and Atlantic. Studeman emphasized that tracking and monitoring these Russian submarines pose a “dual-threat” to the United States and its allies. – DSA

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