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Propulsion Characteristics of the “Improved” 2nd Generation (Project 955A) BOREY Class SSBN

By Bruce Rule - Feb 1, 2016

As previously discussed, in the fourth quarter of 2014, the subsidiary of the Onega Scientific Research Technology Design Bureau in Bolshy Karmen, Vladivostok, let a sub-contract for 1,198,951 Russian rubles (33K USD) to the Northeastern Repair Center in Vilyuchinsk, Kamchatka, to create documentation to support removal of the GTZA OK-9VM geared turbine main propulsion units from the OSCAR II Class SSGN “Krasnoyarsk."

The umbrella contract (Z/1/1/0169/GK-12-DGO) under which this work was done covers the construction of hulls 5-8 of the Dolgorukiy (BOREY Class) Russian SSBN. Thus, the main propulsion power train - including the Azurit-M modular steam turbine and the integral two-stage planetary reduction gear system from the “Krasnoyarsk” will be used in the construction of new and “improved” Project 955A Dolgorukiy SSBN, as was the case with the three Project 955 BOREYs. (The 955A series started with the fourth BOREY hull, the "Knyaz Vladimir").

This is further evidence that “new” Russian nuclear submarines (BOREY and YASEN) and diesel submarines (LADA and KILO) use main propulsion system components that have been in use in Soviet/Russian submarines for between 35 and 65 years. It appears the Russian Navy does not have the funds required to design and construct submarine platforms that are new from the keel up, as will be the case with the US OHIO-replacement SSBN.

Bottom line: the deficiencies evident in AKULA and OSCAR hulls will “live on” in BOREY and YASEN units as will GTZA OK-9VM power trains and pressure-hull sections..