Guangming daily (China): underwater “Laika” is a Russian nuclear submarine fifth generation project 545

Recently the American magazine The National Interest published an article about the Russian nuclear submarine fifth generation project 545, after which this submarine was again in the spotlight. What does it represent?

The transition from “Husky” to “Husky”

Nuclear submarine of the fifth generation project 545 was developed by the Russian design Bureau “malachite”. In December 2014 it was announced that the design Bureau “malachite” is developing a nuclear submarine of the new type, and in 2016 was announced I called it “Husky”. In August 2016 JSC “SPMDB “Malahit”” signed a contract with the Ministry of defense of Russia for the development of a new submarine, and in April 2018 chief engineer of “Malachite” Vladimir Dorofeyev said that the preliminary design of a new model of advanced nuclear submarine has been completed. At the end of 2018 “malachite” finished the main scientific research work on the development of the nuclear submarine “Husky”, despite the fact that the results were generally approved by the Ministry of defense of Russia, the Russian military was not very pleased with “Husky”. So in April 2019 design Bureau Malakhit has announced that it is launching the next stage of the research work on the atomic submarine project 545, which received the code name “Husky” (Laika is the name of the famous breed of dogs in Russia), and differs significantly from the previous draft. 24 Dec 2019 model of the future nuclear submarine of the fifth generation project 545 appeared to show the enlarged meeting of the Collegium of the Ministry of defense of Russia in Moscow. Although Vice-Admiral of the Russian Navy, rear Admiral Victor bursuk said in 2017, the construction of nuclear submarines of the fifth generation will begin in the period from 2023 to 2024, however based on the pace of development at the present time, it is expected that the submarine will be launched in the construction between 2027 and 2030.

“Likes” will be armed to the teeth

It is reported that a displacement of a nuclear submarine under the designation of “Likes” will be about 11340 tons, the speed is about 35 knots, and the autonomy of the submarine for the supply of provisions will be 90 days, while maximum diving depth of the submarine 600 metres. The case of submarines of this type will be covered with several layers of composite materials having sound-absorbing property. Main wheel, tail blades, anti-slip fin, mast, screws and shafting will also be made of composite materials to reduce weight and noise of the submarine. The noise of the submarine should be smaller than the nuclear submarine project “Yasen”, the new type will be equipped with a single integrated command and control system with artificial intelligence. It is also reported that the submarine project “Laika” will be equipped with a new reactor with liquid metal coolant. Compared to water-cooled nuclear reactors, which were equipped with submarines of the second generation, the ratio of power to mass of the new reactor will be increased in 1,5-2,5 times, and the usability is doubled, but its power consumption is also significantly higher. It is expected that the new submarine will have been in operation for 52 years.

Nuclear submarine “Likes” can carry various weapons, mainly: winged missiles 3M-14 “Caliber”, hypersonic missiles ZM-22 “Zircon”, anti-ship missiles 3M-55 Oniks, portable anti-aircraft missile complex “Igla” rocket 81РУ “Answer”, underwater missiles, Predator torpedoes “Fizik-1”, torpedoes USET-80, protivorechii “Lasta” mini-rocket PMR-2 mines-torpedoes MTPK-1. You can tell that the “Husky” armed to the teeth.

Multi-Purpose “Husky”

The tasks of the Russian Navy nuclear submarine project 545, “Likes” must be a multi-purpose submarine with a modular design. On the design drawings published by the Russian side, it is seen that along the body “Likes” between the aft part of command room and stern are system vertical launch cruise missiles, the main weapons which are cruise missiles “Caliber”, anti-ship missiles “Onyx” and hypersonic missiles ZM-22 “Zircon”. In addition, it is reported that if necessary, the system of vertical launch cruise missiles can be replaced by a module launch ballistic missiles to “Husky” could “transform itself” from the rocket underwater cruiser of strategic purpose in multi-purpose attack submarine. Nuclear submarines equipped with ballistic missiles usually are on combat duty in open waters, whereas multi-purpose nuclear submarines armed with cruise missiles, are often used to perform Supervisory tasks. The Navy usually sends submarines only one type to complete tasks, so if the sub can be repeatedly to transform from one type to another by replacing the combat module, it significantly reduces the total number of submarines on missions, the number of sailors and maintenance personnel can also be reduced, thus saving a lot of money.

However, it is believed that although the modular theory is advanced, in practice, replacement of combat units and equipment is a rather complicated matter, requiring a lot of money and power. In addition, submarines of project 545 have a low tonnage, so theoretically they find it difficult to place a sufficient number of ballistic missiles. Thus, it is not clear whether the submarine under the designation of “Likes” to be multi-purpose.