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Russia Plans New Interceptor and Carrier-Killer Nuclear Submarines

The original designs for the Borei- and Yasen-class vessels date back to the end of the Soviet Union and early 1990s.

Russia will design two new classes of nuclear-powered submarines as part of President Vladimir Putin's 20 trillion ruble ($356 billion) rearmament campaign through 2020.

Though the designs have not yet been named, one will be classified as an "underwater interceptor" and the other an "aircraft carrier killer," the head of the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation's state defense order department, Anatoly Shlemov, told news website Lenta.ru late last week.

After years of decline in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, Russia's Defense Ministry has poured money into the construction of a new generation of nuclear-powered submarines. The first new types, the Borei- and Yasen-class, have already entered service.

But the original designs for the Borei- and Yasen-class vessels date back to the end of the Soviet Union and early 1990s, and do not take advantage of improvements in technology and manufacturing.

Russia's Malakhit design bureau will be responsible for the initial work on the new submarines, Shlemov added.

"The main purpose of the [underwater interceptor] is to protect groups of [ballistic] missile carrying submarines, and to battle with enemy submarines," Shlemov said.

"The second ship will be a cruise missile carrier [used] for defeating coastal and surface targets," he said, referring to the "aircraft killer" variant.

The two new types of nuclear submarine will be based on a common design, the difference being in the weapons compartment of the submarine. This simplifies construction of the two classes by relying as much as possible on common components and design.

The two designs will replace Soviet-era submarines still in service such as the Oscar II-, Sierra-, and Victor-class multipurpose nuclear-powered submarines, Lenta reported.

The new Borei- and Yasen-class nuclear submarines currently under construction will replace Soviet stalwarts like the massive Typhoon- and Delta IV-class nuclear missile launching submarines and the fast Alfa- and Akula-class attack submarines.

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