Wednesday, December 17, 2014

XLT+: Construction of "Kronshtadt" Diesel Sub Continues

"Kronshtadt" bow module section ready for transfer to Workshop 12 (2014)
[credit: Admiralty Shipyards]

                                         [translation of "Admiralteyets" newspaper article]

December 15, 2014

In the coming days, the bow module section of the second Project 677/Lada-class submarine "Kronshtadt" will be transported from Workshop 9 to Workshop 12. Today, construction of the serially-produced unit, which was restarted in July 2013, is in full swing.

In 2009, the Ministry of Defense ordered a halt to the construction of "Kronshtadt", which was laid down in 2005. Four years later, this unique project was given a "second life" - a state contract to continue construction was signed by RF deputy defense minister Yuriy Borisov and Admiralty Shipyards general director Aleksandr Buzakov.

New Life for Lada Project
Today, the bow and stern module sections of the second Project 677 submarine are in Workshop 9, and internal structures requiring rework have been dismantled. The bow module is being prepared for transport to a construction way in Workshop 12. It's symbolic that Bay 6, the same bay used for the construction of "Sank-Peterburg", has been prepared to receive the new bow module.

Work continues on the stern module - a joint in the fourth compartment has already been cut, and upgrades to the end of the stern section are underway.

"In accordance with drawings we received from our designer, Rubin Central Design Bureau of Naval Technology, adjustments were made to the design of the shaft line, which is why the stern section tip is undergoing modifications. To this end, serious efforts are underway," explains project manager and Construction Department 6 senior builder Viktor Mishkin. "The layout of some spaces has changed somewhat - mostly in the fourth and fifth compartments, where the diesel generators and electric propulsion motor are located. Work is also underway to improve designs; this requirement arose while the first hull was being tested."

According to the project manager, the changes being made are primarily focused on improving technical characteristics and habitability, as well as simplifying the ability to service onboard systems.

At the same time as the submarine's construction, a lot of effort is underway to survey structures that were completed earlier. Outfitting buildings and units and machine-building equipment have been activated.

According to Viktor Mishkin, construction of the submarine hasn't reached the most intensive phase yet. Only the scope of work clearly defined by the designers is underway: "As soon as we receive drawings, we immediately start working. First and foremost, the reliability of the submarine depends on clear adherence to the parameters set forth in the design."

Workshop 9 employees - builders under the supervision of Oleg Sosunov, assemblers led by Nikolay Borisenko, teams of welders under Roman Shemenkov and Valeriy Kichigin - are now actively involved in the construction. Preparation of the bow module section for transport to Workshop 12 is being handled by Vladimir Kozlov's assembly team and Yevgeniy Agapov's metal worker team. These are the same workers who participated in construction of the first Project Lada submarine.

A majority of the work is also being performed by Workshops 6 and 7 and by machine-building production personnel.

The transfer of the stern module section into Workshop 12 is scheduled for spring 2015. During this time, the submarine's hull will be prepared for insulation work. "Habitability conditions inside the submarine depend on the quality of insulation, and this step also helps prevent accumulation of condensation, which is not desired when operating machinery," explains Viktor Mishkin. "After insulation work, the module section can be moved to the construction way, where installation of equipment will begin."

Upon completion of the first stage of construction in Workshop 9, all factory teams will be brought in to work on the submarine.

We Create... And Build
Despite the fact that "Kronshtadt" is not a lead hull, it is being built using a corrected technical design. "Nearly 20 years have passed since the draft design was completed," says Construction Department 6 senior builder Mark Khazanov. "Since then, based on construction and testing experience, new types of equipment and requirements have materialized, which the designer has reviewed and which will be introduced during construction. We could consider that, at some level, "Kronshtadt" - for us - is a submarine that isn't being built, but rather created. There's a difference!"

New, Modern!
Currently, Project 677 submarines are the most modern non-nuclear submarines. Despite the large scope of work, timelines for building this unique submarine are rather tight: according to the signed documents, the transfer of "Kronshtadt" to the Russian Navy is scheduled for 2017.

                                                     - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Probable "Kronshtadt" hull section loaded on "Luga" floating dry dock (December 15, 2014)
[credit: "Curious"]
It appears that some transfer activity has already occurred. On December 16, Admiralty Shipyard's floating dry dock "Luga" did transfer a hull section from the northern area of the shipyard to a southern construction facility. The larger bow section also may have been transferred on December 16 or could be transferred during a separate operation by the end of this month.

Contracts linked to "Kronshtadt" construction include (listed by order of scheduled delivery):

  • 1Q2015: 72V29KM remote control equipment; oil-water separators; automated air compressor systems
  • 2Q2015: hydraulic mooring capstan; LGS-42 special-purpose hydraulic winch; P407/P-408 communications systems; MG-65 emergency underwater communications system; air/water heaters; PD-3MA2 incinerators; anti-vibration mounts 
  • 3Q2015: Baget 41-10 computer; diesel generators 
  • 4Q2015: ARM-5 automated steering apparatus; Gnom-2 device
  • 1Q2016: reserve propulsion system