Russia launches second Kalibr missile-equipped attack submarine after 13 years

Russia has launched the Kronshtadt, the second of its diesel Lada-class diesel-electric attack submarines, after numerous delays that stretched its build time to 13 years.

The Kronshtadt was launched in a ceremony at St. Petersburg Admiralty Shipyard on Thursday, September 20, Tass reported.

Construction of the submarine, part of the Russian Navy’s Project 677, began in 2005, Admiralty Shipyards CEO Alexander Buzakov said.

“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,” the first Lada-class submarine launched in 2004, Buzakov said.

Construction of the submarines was halted for a year after the Russian Navy decided in 2011 that they would not be accepted into service. Construction was restarted the next year after design changes, according to RIA Novosti.

A third Lada-class submarine, Velikiye Luki, is currently under construction at Admiralty Shipyards, and as many as five are planned.

The Kronshtadt carries a crew of 35 and displaces about 1,700 tonnes. It is equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles, which have been fired as part of Russia’s military intervention in the conflict in Syria.

In July, President Vladimir Putin said the Russian Navy would deploy 26 new warships in 2018, including four equipped with Kalibr.

Putin said in May that Russian naval vessels armed with Kalibr cruise missiles would be “permanently on duty” in the Mediterranean Sea.

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