One of Russia's leading shipbuilding firms, Sevmash, has phased out the use of foreign parts in the construction of its newest generations of nuclear submarines, liberating it from the threat of component supply shortages from abroad, the company said in a statement on its website.
Russian defense enterprises are racing to develop domestic production lines for components currently acquired from abroad as political tensions over the Ukraine crisis have seen the West slap sanctions on military-related trade with Russia. Ukraine, one of the biggest exporters of industrial parts to Russia, has also cut military ties with Moscow.
Sevmash, located near Arkhangelsk, has already kicked the habit of using foreign-made components. The newest Borei-class nuclear submarine, the Prince Vladmir, is being equipped with 100 percent Russian components, a policy that will also be employed for its Yasen-class vessels, Sevmash director Mikhail Budnichenko was quoted as saying in Wednesday's statement.
The new submarines are formidable weapons. The Yasen-class is a replacement to the Soviet-era Akula class attack submarines, the nuclear powered vessels are adept at stalking other submarines and surface vessels, and launching cruise missiles. The Borei-class, on the other hand, is designed to lurk in the ocean depths and fire nuclear missiles at foreign cities.
In the past several years, Russia has been rearming and modernizing its Navy as part of a $700 billion revamp of its armed forces through 2020, and the submarines constructed by Sevmash are an important part of this campaign.