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Sea Platforms

Russian Navy looks to extend Akula SSN life

13 February 2019

The Russia Federation Navy is aiming to keep its Project 971 Shchuka-B (NATO reporting name ‘Akula’) nuclear attack submarines (SSNs) in service for another 25–30 years, according to a senior Northern Fleet officer.

Speaking to the Russian Ministry of Defence’s Zvezda television network on 3 February, Captain 1st Rank, Pavel Bulgakov, Chief of Staff of the 24th Submarine Division at Yagelnaya Bay on the Kola Peninsula, said “with overhauls and maintenance these submarines can stay in operation at least another 25–30 years.”

He added that the Project 971 submarines were well suited to having their lives extended through upgrades. “That’s [the Shchuka-Bs] greatest strength,” Capt Bulgakov said.

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