Home Europe Second of Russia’s troubled Lada-class subs starts trials 3 years after launch

Second of Russia’s troubled Lada-class subs starts trials 3 years after launch

Lada-class submarine Kronshtadt sea trials Project 677
Photo: Admiralty Shipyards

Admiralty Shipyards has started sea trials on the second Lada-class (Project 677) submarine, 16 years after the boat started construction and three years after it was launched.

Kronshtadt, as the second of three boats in the class to be built is named, took to sea for a first stage of factory trials that will take place in the Gulf of Finland.

According to the shipbuilder, the diesel-electric submarine will undergo high-speed and maneuverability tests. Navigation and communication systems will also be tested during this phase of trials that is expected to conclude before the end of this month.

The milestone comes after the class of submarines suffered serious setbacks following the commissioning of the lead boat in 2010. The design shortfalls demonstrated by Sankt Petersburg (B-585) prompted the Russian Navy to cancel the construction of further boats in the class in 2011. The second and third boats in the class, which had already started construction, were also cancelled.

A year later, officials announced the Lada-class program would be continued following heavy design modifications. The lead boat was to resume service as a prototype submarine.

Photo: Admiralty Shipyards

“Admiralty Shipyards are building the submarine Kronshtadt according to the adjusted project, relying on the lessons learned from the operation of the lead ship,” the shipbuilder said. Admiralty Shipyards is the sole builder of the Lada boats and has so far been contracted to deliver three further boats in the class, bringing the total to six, according to reports.

The follow-on boats feature modernized control systems, electric propulsion and navigation systems.

With a submerged displacement of 2,700 tons, the Lada-class submarines are slightly lighter than the Improved Kilo-class, another type of diesel-electric submarines being built for the Russian Navy.

Lada-class subs are designed for naval base defense, patrol of sea lanes, and reconnaissance missions. In addition to torpedoes, the subs can deploy club-S submarine-launched cruise missiles, which are fired from standard torpedo tubes. The boats can launch up to 18 torpedoes, or missiles, from six 533mm torpedo tubes.