Russia’s Defence Ministry says its new mini-sub will be able to dive to 11,000 meters depth

By - April 19, 2024 The Independent Barents Observer

A group of dignitaries from the Russian Defence Ministry and shipbuilding industry on 27th of March assembled at the Admiralty Yard in St.Petersburg to lay the keel of a new special-purpose submarine.

The vessel will be only few meters long and have a hull of titanium. It will carry the name Sergei Bavilin, and will, according to sources associated with the Russian Defence Ministry, be able to dive to 11,000 meter depths.


According to shipbuilders and the defence ministry, the Sergei Bavilin will be able to dive to 11,000 meters depth. Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation on VK


It is not clear when construction is to due to be completed, but leader of the Admiralty Yard in a statement offers guarantees that “construction will proceed successfully.”

The new submarine will have a mother ship that can carry it to far-away sites of operations. Most likely, the mother ship will be the Vice-Admiral Burilichev, a Yantar-class vessel currently under construction at the Vyborg Yard. The ship carries the name of the man that headed GUGI in the period 2005-2020. He reportedly died of the corona virus in November 2020.


Yantar-class ship Vice Admiral Burilichev is likely to serve as mother ship to mini-sub Sergei Bavilin. Photo: Soyuz Koroblestroiteley Rossii


GUGI is today headed by Vladimir Grishechkin, the former navy sailor and head of the Northern Fleet’s submarine forces.

«This is another glorious page in the history of domestic deep sea shipbuilding,» Grishechkin said in the ceremony.

Vice-Admiral Vladimir Grishechkin is Head of GUGI. Here together with Aleksandr Moiseev and former Navy Commander Nikolay Yevmenov. Photo: Russian Ministry of Defence.

“The deep-sea unit of which we today lay the keel will be unique in its class – only units of this class are capable of diving to significant depths for studies, development and execution of specific operations in the marine environment of the World Ocean,” the vice-admiral underlined.

The most important of GUGI’s special purpose subs, among them the Losharik, are based in Oleniya Guba, Kola Peninsula. The Sergei Bavilin and mother ship Vice-Admiral Burilichev are however most likely to be based in St.Peterburg.

The submarine is designed by the Kurchatov Institute. According to Institute leader Mikhail Kovalchuk, the building of the Sergei Bavilin  is based on decades of experience.

“This significant event is possible only thanks to the formation over many years of comprehensive scientific work and we have managed to preserve this foundation […] Russia can achieve a lot and we rapidly move forward,” he said at the ceremony.

The Admiralty Yard in St.Petersburg has built a number of Russia’s mini-subs, among them the Rus, Konsul, Bester and Poisk-6.

According to the shipyard, the new  Sergei Bavilin will be the most advanced of its kind. It will not only be able to dive to extreme depths, but also conduct a series of complex underwater operations of importance for research, history, rescue operations and environmental monitoring.