First Serial Nuclear Submarine "Gepard" to be Accepted by State Commission
of Experts Early in December
Official registration by the State Commission and assignation to a customer
of a multi-purpose nuclear submarine "Gepard" ("cheetah") has been settled
at the Northern Machine-Building Enterprise, Severodvinsk, for the beginning
of December. Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is anticipated to take
part in the solemn hoisting of a flag. He already participated, while being
a prime minister of Russia, in launching of "Gepard" in September of 1999.
The information has been delivered by deputy chief-designer of the project,
Leonid Samarkin. According to him, the submarine "Gepard" is a lead ship of
the third generation series of project 971 "Bars" ("panther"). The projects
"Bars" that have been under progress in St. Petersburg Marine Machine-Building
Bureau "Malachite" involve 14 nuclear submarines(NS) in all. "Gepard" was laid
during the later eighties and was planned to be completed in 1995. It is
estimated by L. Samarkin that 200 improvements have been introduced in the
third generation nuclear submarines. Thus, "Gepard" surpasses other NS in
weapon power, range of detection, velocity, and it belongs to the best world's
NS by its noiseness level. L.Samarkin has explained that the project "Bars" utilizes
high-strength steel that has been processed at the Central Research Institute
"Prometheus", St. Petersburg, and doesn't have any analogue in the world.
The "Gepard" is a vessel of 8 500 tons displacement, 112 m long, 600 m extreme diving,
33 knot full-underwater-velocity, 100 day sea endurance. A NS crew consists of 73
people, its service life is estimated to be some 25 years. "Gepard" has been built
by request of the Ministry of Defence, it will be included in the Northern Navy.
A fourth generation NS is under way at the enterprise "Malachite" now. The Marine
Machine-Building Bureau "Malachite" was founded in 1948 and reorientated to be
used for NS creation in 1953. There have been constructed 84 NS according to "Malachite"
projects. One of them, which belonged to the first series K-8 of project 627, drowned
in the Bay of Biscay in 1970. In all, there have been 250 NS constructed in Russia,
5 of them perished, including those 4 designed in the Central Design Office "Ruby".
Translated by Nataliya LIpunova