The Black Sea Fleet has tested the Alrosa submarine built in 1988 and overhauled over the past 8 years, likely to fill the force vacancy.
“The Alrosa submarine has left Sevastopol Bay on its first voyage to sea in eight years. The submarine will be tested in multiple operating modes and must demonstrate its design performance,” Ship Repair Factory No. 13 of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet announced on June 28.
Alrosa was built in 1988 and put into service at the end of 1990, applying the design of the diesel-electric submarine class of Project 877 Paltus. This is the oldest submarine in the Black Sea Fleet, as the remaining 6 were commissioned in the period 2014-2017.
For the past 8 years, the Alrosa submarine has been at the plant for repairs and upgrades. An unnamed source in the Russian defense industry said last month that the Alrosa had been fully upgraded to use the Kalibr cruise missile system.
The source added that the modernization process has “added operational and technical capabilities” to the Alrosa so that it has the equivalent of six Project 636.3 submarines, also known as the Improved Kilo class, in service with the Fleet. Black Sea today.
Alrosa is the only one of the diesel-electric submarines of the Russian Navy to be equipped with a pump-jet propulsion system, while the other Project 877 and 636 submarines use a traditional propulsion system. system with 6 or 7 blade propellers. This makes it dubbed the “unique Kilo submarine” of the Russian navy.
The pump-jet design has many advantages such as high speed and lower noise compared to propellers, which increases the operating radius and reduces the visibility of submarines. The system is also more efficient at all speed ranges, and offers many benefits when operating in shallow seas such as the Black Sea. However, pump-jet systems are heavier, more complex, and more expensive than conventional propeller-driven engines.
The Alrosa submarine was originally planned to be transferred to the Baltic Fleet as a new means of training sailors, freeing up resources for the modern Project 636.3 submarines. However, the Russian Navy on June 17 announced the decision to put it back into service with the 4th Independent Submarine Brigade of the Black Sea Fleet based in Sevastopol.
The decision was made in the context of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet seeking to maintain combat forces for the hostilities in Ukraine after a number of recent vehicle losses, especially the sinking of the flagship Moskva.
Sources say that the Black Sea Fleet has only two of the six Project 636.3 submarines operating in the Black Sea. Two other ships were on duty in the Mediterranean and could not return due to the Turkish blockade of the entrance to the Black Sea, while the two ships were undergoing maintenance and anchored at Sevastopol.
Vu Anh (Theo TASS)