According to information released by the Russian TASS news agency, on 12th June 2020 the KNYAZ (Prince) VLADIMIR nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine entered service with the Russian Navy, to be operated by the Northern Fleet. The official ceremony where St Andrew’s Flag was raised took place at the Sevmash shipbuilding company’s facilities in Severodvinsk. This fourth-generation boat is the first of the improved BOREY-A class (pr.955A) of submarines, the successor to Project 955 BOREY after the three original BOREY class submarines (the YURI DOLGORUKIY, the ALEXANDER NEVSKY and the VLADIMIR MONOMAKH) were commissioned. The Project 955 and 955A submarines were developed by the Rubin Central Design Bureau of Marine Equipment (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, USC) and as previously reported by the Ministry of Defence, the KNYAZ VLADIMIR will feature improved silent propulsion, better manoeuvring and prolonged operation at depth capability in addition to advanced weapons control systems. It was laid down at Sevmash in July 2012 and completed its trials in late 2019, but the sub’s delivery was delayed over faults which were discovered. After these were removed, final trials were held in the White Sea during May before returning to Severodvinsk and the acceptance/delivery certificate being signed on 28th May.
The BOREY-A class has a length of nearly 170 metres, a width of 13.5 metres and a displacement of 24,000 tons with a maximum depth of 480 metres and the ability to carry 16 BULAVA Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles, which are based on the TOPOL M design. According to the Russian media, another submarine of the BOREY-A class, the KNYAZ OLEG, is included in the commissioning plan for the Russian Navy for 2020 while the Sevmash shipyard will manufacture three more Project 955A submarines: the GENERALISSIMUS SUVOROV, the EMPEROR ALEXANDER THE THIRD and the KNYAZ POZHARSKY, all at different stages of manufacture.