Russia has launched its second Project 677
Lada-class diesel-electric attack submarine, named Kronstadt, at the St. Petersburg-based
Admiralty Shipyards. This comes 13 years after the vessel was laid
down. Admiralty Shipyard CEO, Alexander Buzakov,
was quoted as saying during the launch ceremony, “The importance of this event is hard to
overestimate. The submarine began to be built in 2005. There have been some pauses in construction
work and in financing, but the launch day has come at last. The delay in construction work allowed for
using the experience gained in building and operating the submarine The St. Petersburg. By all parameters, this submarine surpasses
its predecessor – Project 636 (improved Kilo-class). We are certain that the future of non-nuclear
submarine force of the Russian Navy should be pinned on project 677. There will be a large series”. In this video, Defense Updates analyzes why
Kronstadt the 2nd Lada-class submarine will be a major headache for U.S & NATO? Let’s get started. Project 677 Lada class diesel-electric attack submarines are designed by the Russian Rubin Design Bureau. The submarines of this class are primarily
designed for coastal defense against enemy submarines and surface combatants apart from
surveillance and reconnaissance. The Russian Ministry of Defense initially
planned to field 3 Lada-class submarines by 2018. But there has been massive delays in the program. The lead ship of the class, named Sankt Peterburg,
was launched in October 2004 and began sea trials in November 2005. The submarine was handed over to the Russian
Navy in April 2010. However, in November 2011 the Russian Navy
decided not to accept the submarine as it had couldn’t pass the tests and failed to
meet certain requirements. The lead boat was retained as a test vessel
and was utilized to perform experiments with various components and subsystems. The construction of the remaining boats of
the class was stopped. On 27 July 2012, the Russian Navy commander-in-chief
announced the resumption of the construction of the St. Petersburg-class submarines, having
undergone extensive design changes. In 2013 and 2015, two further submarines were
re-laid, the first of which is the Kronstadt and second is named Velikiye Luki. The Lada-class is designed to be smaller than
Russia’s mainstay diesel-electric attack submarines of Kilo class. Kronstadt has a length of 72 m and displaces
2,700 tonnes when submerged. Importantly, Kronstadt uses large-scale automation
to reduce crew requirements and increase efficiency. The vessel can move to battle with only 35
personnel manning it. The Lada class currently doesn’t have Air
Independent Propulsion but as per reports Rubin Design Bureau is working on it and is
expected to be developed by 2021. The ship has an inertial navigation system
and much-improved sensors. It has bow, flank arrays and towed array sonars. It also has multiple countermeasure suits
including electronic support measures (ESM) system and radar warning receiver. Lada-class subs have a very low acoustic signature
because of a special anti-sonar coating called Molniya (Lightning). This coating coupled with the small physical
profile will make them very hard to detect. The vessel can move to depths of 300 m, has a surface speed of 10kt and a submerged speed of 21kt. Because of this many military analysts have
called this vessel “Mini-Red October class”. Though small in size, the Lada class packs
a deadly punch. The submarine is equipped with automated combat
control system Litiy The submarine has six 533 mm (21 in) torpedo
tubes. It can accommodate a combination of torpedoes
or surface to surface missiles totaling to 18. For torpedoes, the vessel will have many options
like the Type 65. Type 65 has a range of 50 km at 93 km/h and
100 km at 56 km/h For surface to surface missile option, it
can accommodate anti-ship or anti-submarine or land attack variant of Kalibr missile. The anti-ship and anti-submarine variants
have a range of range up to 600 km and speed up to Mach 2.9. The land attack variant has a range of 2500
km with a max speed of Mach 0.8. There are several instances where single lonely
wolf submarines have been able to knock down formidable opponents during military exercises. In 2005 as part of a joint exercise, USS Ronald
Reagan carrier task force including multiple antisubmarine escorts was pitted against HSMS
Gotland, a tiny Swedish diesel-powered submarine displacing just 1,600 tons. HSMS Gotland was able to execute several simulated
attacks and was never detected by the task force. In March 2015, an exercise was organized by
U.S & France. In the exercise, French nuclear submarine
Saphir along with few supporting assets squared off against USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier
Strike Group. According to the reports, Saphir was able
to penetrate the Carrier Strike Group which consisted of several Ticonderoga-class guided
missile cruisers, Arleigh Burke class destroyers, and a Los Angeles -class nuclear attack submarine
along with the supercarrier. In simulated firing runs, it was able to score
torpedo hits on the supercarrier as well some cruisers and destroyers. In October 2015, a Russian made Indian Kilo-class
submarine INS Sindhudhvaj (S56) allegedly took out a U.S. Navy Los Angeles class attack
submarine USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705) in a simulated torpedo attack during
a exercise Malabar, which is held annually between India, Japan, and the United States. Lada class submarines bring this kind of challenge
to not only U.S Carrier Task Force but also to America’s nuclear powered ballistic missile
submarines. Viewers must note that, the nuclear powered
ballistic missile submarines of Ohia class forms the most important part America’s
nuclear deterrent since the 14 Ohio class submarines together carry approximately 50%
of the total US active stockpile of strategic thermonuclear warheads deployed through Trident
Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile.

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