Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Very revolutionary Russian submarine will keep peace near US borders

In September 2007 a little Russian non-commercial newspaper from N-Novgorod made a row when published information about a previously unknown submarine project. In this news was noted that 'Sarov' submarine is finished its building in Severodvinsk (White Sea). Even the name of its commander, captain Sergey Kroshkin, became known to public. The basic specs of this submarine were also published there. The displacement – 2,300/3,950 t, dimension 72.6 x 9.9 m, deepness – 300 m, draught – 7 m, speed 10/17 knots, autonomy – 45 days. No people was disciplined for this seemingly severe leakage. So, the supposition says it could be an 'intended leakage' of information, kind of peaceful Russian gesture for putting pressure on hawkish Bush administration.

Three months after, the press-office of 'Sevmash' nuclear submarine plant confirmed a new submarine existence and its name - Project 20120, B-90 'Sarov'. The developer of its power plant is seemingly Afrikantov-OKBM design bureau, which is the leading Russian design house for submarine reactor building. TsKB 'Rubin' – is the developer of the submarine itself. As some reliable Russian sources said, the novelty of 'Sarov' is its super-compact power plant, working on nuclear fission energy, but without classic chain reaction. It allows to make a conventional size submarine with capabilities of nuclear one. The current characteristics are classified however, but in the late 80th the first testbed submarine with 600 kW VAU-6 auxiliary nuclear powerplant achieved 7,000 miles continuous submerged range at economic speed of 4 knots.

Early, in February 2007, another newspaper from the same city N-Novgorod published an information about a new compact nuclear powerplant for submarines. This powerplant was manufactured in 2006. Such a powerplant can be installed in Kilo/Lada size diesel-electric submarines without a big change in the frame. The name of this powerplant is KTP-7i 'Phoenix'. The name of the whole project is 'Kalitka'. In December 2007 the submarine touched the water and in August 2008 it started service in Russian Navy as a testbed for a new powerplant and weapons.

This article (look the pics) is about a possibility to use such type of submarines for different peacekeeping purposes near US shores. As a variant, it could be equipped with an intermediate or short-range ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.


  1. As some reliable Russian sources said, the novelty of 'Sarov' is its super-compact power plant, working on nuclear fission energy, but without classic chain reaction.

    igorr that sounds a bit confusing, could you confirm that's what you meant ?
    all reactors generate power by controlling the number of fissions from each fission event to one instead of the 2 or 3 that takes place in uncontrolled fission devices (aka nuclear bombs).
    I'm not sure I understand how a reactor can generate power without some kind of chain reaction.
    if this reactor uses the same it is of course not a classic chain reaction in the nuclear bomb sense but it is nothing different from what reactors have done for the last 50-60 years.

  2. to Rahul M:

    From what I read they speak about enegry of spontaneous fission of the short-life isotopes. Something like that was on the Russian military satelites before Space Warfare restriction treaty cut it.

  3. so its alternative to other AIPs cooooooooooooool,
    india should buy amur class subs with this APU

  4. The B-90 Sarov uses Radioisotope Thermoelectric Tenerator for its electricity needs , they offer better endurance than any AIP solution , but like AIP they cannot provide the submarine with speed of Nuclear submarne which may not be a drawback for Conventional AIP/RTG submarine


  5. this 'Sarov'makes an interesting option for indian navy's plans...it should by keenly explored on amur/lada.

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