Saturday, September 20, 2014

Petersburg Diesel Submarine Construction Continues

Petersburg SS "Sankt-Peterburg" moored on Neva River in St. Petersburg - July 2010
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Construction of the second hull of the Petersburg diesel submarine class, named "Kronshtadt", was restarted in July 2013 when a new contract (Z/1/2/0280/GK-13-DGOZ) was signed with Admiralty Shipyards. Construction was stopped in 2009 after the Russian Ministry of Defense decided it would no longer fund the plagued program following the poor performance and prolonged testing of the first hull, "Sankt-Peterburg". But "Kronshtadt" is now showing signs of life.

"Sankt-Peterburg" was laid down in December 1997 and launched in October 2004. During factory testing, multiple issues with sonar, power plant, and propulsion systems significantly impacted the submarine's ability to achieve the technical and tactical performance requirements set by the Russian Navy. The submarine was finally commissioned in April 2010 - but only for "trial operations." After several years of limited operations, the submarine was transferred from the Baltic Sea to the Barents Sea in October 2013 for additional at-sea testing. "Sankt-Peterburg", which remains in a "trial operations" status, apparently has conducted few (if any) at-sea operations since the transfer based on a total lack of reporting.

"Kronshtadt" was laid down at Admiralty Shipyards in July 2005, and little information about the submarine was known about it after construction was halted in 2009. Since the new contract was signed in July 2013, however, there have been signs that real construction is underway, as proven by a dozen contracts for equipment deliveries announced between December 2013 and now.

(Description / cost / delivery date)
  • 72V29KM rapid remote-control equipment / ??? / 1Q2015
  • hydraulic mooring anchor capstan / ??? /2Q2015
  • reserve propulsion system / ??? /1Q2016
  • LGS-42 winch / ??? / 2Q2015
  • oil-water separators / ??? / 1Q2015
  • ARM-5 automated steering apparatus / ??? / 4Q2015
  • automated air compressor systems / ??? / 1Q2015
  • Baget 41-10 computer / ??? / 3Q2015
  • modernization of Zhikler mast-raising devices / RUB 1,780,800 / ???
  • Gnom-2 acoustic digital recorder / ??? / 4Q2015
  • diesel generators / ??? / 3Q2015
  • MG-65 emergency underwater communications system / ??? / 2Q2015
  • diesel generator pedestals / RUB 5,332,671 / Jan 2015
When the new contract went into effect in July 2013, Admiralty Shipyards reported that "Kronshtadt" was scheduled for handover to the Russian Navy in 2017. While the completion dates for the above contracts seem to suggest a 2017 delivery date is possible, it remains to be seen if sub-contractors for components can stay on schedule.