How will Russian submarines be rearmed?
Modernized submarines of project 949AM “Antey” will become the most armed Russian submarine carriers of cruise missiles and will be able to carry on board up to 72 Caliber, Onyx; or “Zircons”. This will make them the most heavily armed submarine cruise missile carriers in the Russian Navy.
What is the plan?
Antey submarines upgraded according to project 949AM will be able to carry 72 Zircon hypersonic missiles. Modernization work is currently underway on two nuclear submarines K-132 Irkutsk. and K-442 “Chelyabinsk”. They will return to the fleet in 2022 and 2025 respectively.
The project for the modernization of the nuclear submarine of project 949A was developed at the Rubin Central Design Bureau. back in December 2011. Work on the alteration of the nuclear submarine K-132 “Irkutsk” started in 2013. But sources in the shipbuilding industry reported that the modernization process actually started only in 2019. It should be completed in 2022.
The remaining five nuclear submarines of this project, which are currently in service, can also be upgraded and armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles.
On the modernized “Antey” the number of missiles will increase significantly. They will be equipped, in particular, with Caliber cruise missiles. and Zircon hypersonic missiles.
Not only submarine equipment will be updated. Modernization will also affect combat information systems, communication systems, hydroacoustics and some other aspects. As a result, according to experts, combat capabilities will increase by about four times
About Project 949AM “Antey”
Submarines 949A "Antey" developed at the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering. In 1985-1996, 11 submarines of this class were built. Submarines have an underwater displacement of about 24 thousand tons, the length of the hull – 154 meters, width – over 18 meters. Submarines develop underwater speed up to 32 knots, dive to a depth of 600 meters. The main purpose of "Anteev" – destruction of enemy aircraft carrier formations.
What happened before?
The first samples of the Antey project submarines, developed at the Rubin Central Design Bureau, were armed with 24 Granit supersonic anti-ship missiles. These were excellent anti-ship missiles. But needs, and technology, do not stand still, and now there are new developments. At “Granite” the speed is less than that of the new-generation Caliber missiles.
What is the upgrade of weapons?
From cruise missiles, submarines can be equipped with Caliber, Onyxes; or “Zircons”.
Rocket “Zircon” at the moment, it has no analogues in the world and is capable of performing a long aerodynamic flight with maneuvering in dense layers of the atmosphere, using its own engine thrust throughout the route. It can reach speeds of up to 10.7 thousand km/h with a maximum range of 1000 km. For comparison, the American Raytheon rocket moves in the upper atmosphere at a speed of about 6.2 thousand km/h.
To the main advantages of “Caliber” can be attributed to the fact that it cannot be shot down by modern air defense systems.
Oniks medium-range supersonic missile was adopted by Russia in 2002. The development of this type of missiles was carried out back in the 80s of the last century. Initially, “Onyx” was created to destroy sea targets, but now there is a version for ground targets.
Due to the new hypersonic ship-based missiles “Zirkon” Russia will be able to destroy the US nuclear weapons storage facilities in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. A preventive strike will neutralize the threat of a nuclear conflict in the region, experts say.
What else is “on board”?
The total ammunition load of one Project 949AM submarine will be about 100 units of missile, torpedo and missile and torpedo weapons. One incomplete missile salvo of such a submarine will be enough to guarantee the destruction of an aircraft carrier multipurpose group.