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Russian Navy Lada-class submarine Sankt Peterburg to be decommissioned early

The Russian Navy has opted to decommission instead of upgrade its lead Lada-class SSK Sankt Peterburg. (Erik Laursen)

The Russian Navy is planning to decommission its lead Project 677 Lada-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) Sankt Peterburg rather than completing an upgrade and modernisation programme, Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported on 18 April.

According to unnamed industry and shipbuilding sources quoted by TASS, the proposed modernisation was extremely expensive, and the Russian Navy had concluded that the funds would be better spent on procuring a newbuild submarine.

Sankt Peterburg was laid down at Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg in December 1997 and launched in October 2004. Since its commissioning in 2010, it has been involved in trials activities with the Northern Fleet that were scheduled to be completed in 2017, although reports suggest that this did not happen. In April 2020, Sankt Peterburg arrived at the Kronstadt Marine Plant for the modernisation programme, which has now been cancelled.

Intended as a successor to the long-running Project 877/636.3 Kilo-class SSKs, the Lada-class boats are just under 67 m in length and have a displacement of 1,765 tonnes. They are fitted with six 533 mm torpedo tubes and have the capacity to carry up to 18 torpedoes. The submarines are capable of diving to 300 m with a maximum underwater speed of 21 kt and a maximum endurance of 45 days.

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