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RUSSIAN NAVY: End For ‘Red October’?

There are conflicting reports from Russia about the future of three remaining Project 941 submarines. The Soviet-era leviathans are better known as the Typhoon class and, at 26,925 tonnes dived, the largest submarines ever built. An official at the Defence Ministry stated they were all to be decommissioned by 2014, only to be later contradicted by another official saying no such decision about their future had been taken.

Of the six originally built, only Dmitri Donskoi is still active, having recently served as a testbed for the navy’s new Bulava ballistic missile. Such tests are now being conducted from the navy’s latest Borey class SSBN, Yuri Dolgoruky. The other two, Arkhangelsk and Severstal, are laid up at Severodvinsk with their missiles removed.

With a new START agreement between the USA and Russia signed in 2010 limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 per nation, their days as SSBNs are over.

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