Yury Dolgorukiy on its way to the Russian Northern Fleet, October 15, 2015.

Yury Dolgorukiy, the lead vessel of the Borei-class submarine

Yury Dolgorukiy during sea trials

Named after the founder of Moscow, Yuri Dolgorukiy, K-535 is the first of ten planned Borei-class ballistic missile submarines.

The vessel was first laid down in 1996 and built by Sevmash in Northwest Russia, and was planned to enter service in 2001.

Initially it was planned for the submarine to be armed with the R-39M missiles but after indifferent tests, the submarine was redesigned to take the Bulava missile instead. The Bulava missiles are 40ft long and have a range of up to 5,000 miles.

In 2007, the vessel was moved from the construction hall into a launch dock in Severodvinsk even though she was only about 80% complete.

It was thought that the submarine would be rushed through the rest of its production in order to be ready for the 2008 Russian presidential elections, even though most of the vessel’s equipment was yet to be installed which would normally take well over a year to complete.

Nevertheless, on 13 February 2008, Yuri Dolgoruky was launched, and its reactor was first activated on 21 November 2008. The following year, it started sea trials and by July 2010, the submarine had passed several trials including the buoyancy control and navigation systems. By the end of September 2010, all company tests were complete.

The first torpedo launch planned for the December was postponed due to icy conditions in the White Sea.

Commissioning, due in early 2011, was also put on hold due to technical defects. In June 2011, more sea trials took place and on 25 June, the first Bulava missile was successfully launched.

After successful state trials in early 2012, Yuri Dolgoruky was expected to be commissioned later in the summer, but more software problems again put the ceremony on hold. Until finally, on 10 January 2013, she joined the Russian Navy with the traditional raising of the St. Andrew’s ensign, which marked her introduction into the Russian Navy.

The submarine is now fully operational in the Northern Fleet – the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Arctic Ocean.

SPECIFICATION Length, 558ft, beam 44.2ft, draught 32.9ft, surface displacement 14,750 tons, submerged displacement 24,000 tons. Surface speed 25 knots, submerged 32 knots. Propulsion, 1x OK-650B nuclear reactor with 1x AEU steam turbine delivering power to 1x shaft. The vessel has an unlimited range and carries 130 crew.

ARMAMENT 16x Bulava Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs). 6x SS-N-15 Cruise missiles. 6x 21in Torpedo tubes.

RSM-56 Bulava

January 2, 2013 — The first of a new fleet of eight Russian ballistic missile submarines is due to enter service in 2013. Each boat will carry up to 16 Bulava ICBMs — intercontinental ballistic missiles — each with multiple nuclear warheads. The new weapons system forms the cornerstone of Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Graphic shows facts and figures abouth the nuclear-powered submarine Yuri Dolgoruky and the Bulava missile system.

The Russian Navy is the only operator of the RSM-56 Bulava. As of 2017, 48 missiles are deployed on the Borei-class ballistic missile submarines:

    Yury Dolgorukiy

    Alexander Nevsky

    Vladimir Monomakh


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