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Russia launches newest, most advanced nuclear-powered sub

By Don Jacobson
Russia launches newest, most advanced nuclear-powered sub
The prototype of the Russian Yasen-M class nuclear-powered submarine, the Severodvinsk, is launched in 2010. File Photo by Vladimir Rodionov/EPA

Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Naval officials have launched Moscow's latest nuclear-powered submarine, described as the most advanced multipurpose sub in the Russian fleet.

Capable of carrying 32 cruise missiles in addition to a full range of 533mm homing torpedoes, the Yasen-M-class Novosibirsk was officially launched Wednesday at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, home of the navy's Northern Fleet.

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The Novosibirsk is Russia's second mass-produced Yasen-M class sub, joining the Kazan, which is currently undergoing sea trials. The original prototype of the class was the Severodvinsk, which was launched in 2010 after 20 years of design, testing and construction.

Construction work on the Novosibirsk began in 2013 and it is expected to enter service by the end of 2020.

Four more Yasen-M class submarines are being built at Sevmash and another two are scheduled to be laid down in the coming year, Russian officials said.

Analysts said the new subs will likely be capable of carrying Russia's new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, which can be launched from the same tubes as the existing arsenal of cruise missiles.

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