Reports from the Russian state and private media reveal plans by their shipbuilding company, Sevmash, to roll out the Project 885M Yasen-M nuclear submarine K-564 Arkhangelsk in the latter part of November. It’s important to note, however, that this information is not officially confirmed at this moment.
What’s intriguing is that amidst these speculations, it’s worth mentioning that there are five Yasen-M Project 885M submarines reportedly being built by the Russian military-industrial complex.
On the surface, these developments may not appear to be directly linked to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. However, they do shed some light on Russia’s defense budget, projected to exceed a whopping 5.6 trillion rubles, roughly equating to $62 billion, in 2023.
Based on declared features, the nuclear submarines from Project 885M Yasen-M seem to be considerably potent. Each submarine of this class boasts an impressive set of specifications.
For instance, these submarines have water displacement capabilities of up to 8,600 tons on the surface and up to 13,000 tons underwater. Their diameters and lengths are approximately 13 and 130 meters respectively and can reach speeds of 16 knots on the surface, increasing to 31 knots underwater, maintaining autonomy for up to 100 days.
With a crew of 64, each submarine is significantly armed with 10 torpedo tubes housing 30 torpedoes, along with 8 launch cells, each capable of accommodating 4 Onyx missiles or 5 Kalibr missiles. In essence, each submarine can carry up to 32 Onyx missiles or up to 40 Kalibr missiles.
The cost of these submarines, however, is a subject of debate in the public domain. It’s suggested that each submarine comes with a price tag starting from 41 billion rubles [$455 million].
However, considering the cost estimation methods of the Russian Ministry of Defense, where a destroyed Askold corvette in Kerch was cited as 10 times cheaper than a new Tu-160M, ascribing each Yasen-M submarine with a price tag of 0.5 billion dollars might not be an overreach.
One might find it intriguing that Russia, despite engaging in land warfare, continues to splurge on its navy, a sector that’s notoriously resource-demanding.
This contrasts with the fact that Russia can invest in the creation of high-tech weaponry even amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and multiple international economic sanctions. This begs the question of how Russia manages its defense budget amid such circumstances.
On the flip side, the five under-construction Yasen-M submarines might contribute to inflating Russia’s military budget, potentially creating a false perception of the country’s defense expenditure.
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