Moscow's new multi-purpose cruise missile submarine starts sea trials in White Sea

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The submarine that will be Russia’s fifth vessel of the Yasen class (Project 885M) has started its first round of sea trials in the White Sea.

“Nuclear submarine Arkhangelsk of the Project 885M. First departure for sea trials,” reads a short message published by Northern Fleet’s newspaper Na Strazh’e Zapolyare.

A social media post from the newspaper published on the 14th of June shows the 130 meter long vessel sailing out of the Northern Dvina river with course for open waters.

 

The Arkhangelsk starts sea trials. Photo: Oleg Kuleshov, Na Strazh’e Zapolyare

 

The keel of the Arkhangelsk was laid in 2015 and it was put on the water at Sevmash in November 2023. It is due to be handed over to the Navy in late 2024.

The multipurpose sub will ultimately be based at the Nerpitcha piers in submarine base Zapadnaya Litsa, only about 60 kilometers from NATO country Norway. The base houses also two other Yasen-class vessels, the Severodvinsk and the Kazan.

“The weapons systems of these vessels are significantly superior to their foreign counterparts in a number of their characteristics,” Navy Commander at the time Nikolai Yevmenov underlined in a speech delivered during a ceremony in November 2023.

The Yasen-M class can carry Kalibr cruise missiles. It will also be able to carry the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missiles.

A Tsirkon was first time tested from the Yasen-class submarine Severodvinsk in October 2021, from a submerged position at a depth of 40 meters.

The Yasen-M class submarines will significantly strengthen the capacities of the Northern Fleet. The attack vessels will pose a serious challenge to NATO military bases, naval convoys, and onshore critical infrastructure in case of crisis and conflict. 

Russia is planning to expand its fleet of the Yasen-class to 12 vessels. Half of them could be based in the Northern Fleet.