Two Northern Fleet nuclear subs head to St. Petersburg


War-time Russia last year decided not to sail any of its nuclear-powered submarines to the Naval Parade in St. Petersburg. This year, however, it seems like two from Northern Fleet’s will be present.

The Tambov has already entered the Baltic Sea, while the Kazan is likely in the North Sea awaiting tug escort through the narrow waters of Denmark.

In total, the Northern Fleet will have six warships at the annual Navy’s festivities, the Submariner’s Veteran organization in St. Petersburg informs

The Danish Facebook group Under Broen (Under the Bridge), that monitors ship traffic trough the Great Belt, have over the past few days posted photos of the landing ship Ivan Gren, the Navy tug Nikolay Chiker, the destroyer Admiral Levchenko and the Viktor-III class submarine Tambov

It is also expected that the Northern Fleet’s first combat icebreaker, the Ivan Papanin, will take part in the parade. The cruise-missile armed icebreaker is built in St. Petersburg and is currently conducting sea trials in the Finnish Bay. 

In addition to the two nuclear-powered submarines will the diesel-electric B-586 Kronstadt be present, according to the submarines’ club.

The Tambov is one of the remaining two Victor-III class submarines in the Russian navy. Commissioned in 1992, it is also one of the oldest nuclear-powered vessels still in operation with the Northern Fleet.

The sub returned to Vidyayevo naval base last year after a 7 years upgrade taking place at the Nerpa shipyard on the Barents Sea coast.

The second expected sub to be on display in St. Petersburg, the Kazan, is the newest Yasen-M class with the Northern Fleet. The submarine made headlines earlier this summer as it became the first nuclear-powered in post-Soviet times to make port call to Havana, Cuba.


The Kazan multi-purpose submarine in the White Sea. Photo: Sevmash


The Kazan is a multi-purpose sub and was launched in 2017. It entered service with the Northern Fleet in 2021. This submarine can carry Oniks and Kalibr cruise missiles. The Defense Ministry in Moscow has previously said the Kazan will be armed with Tsirkon hypersonic missiles. 

The Kazan (K-561) is powered by a 4th generation KTP-6 nuclear reactor. The submarine is said to be the quietest in the Russian underwater fleet.

Barents Observer has kept track of all Northern Fleet nuclear-powered submarines sailing to the annual Navy Parade in St. Petersburg since it first time happened in 2017. 

2022: Akula Vepr, Yasen Severodvinsk and Borei Knyaz Vladimir
2021: Oscar-II Orel and Akula Vepr
2020: Oscar-II Orel
2019: Oscar-II Smolensk
2018: Oscar-II Orel
2017: Typhoon Dmitry Donskoi

A larger Russian naval exercise is expected to take place as the Northern Fleet warships sails out of the Baltic Sea en route north, likely in early August.