The sole remaining Typhoon-class submarine, Dmitry Donskoy, is set to receive a further lease on life.
A military insider source told TASS news yesterday that the Navy has no immediate plans to decommission Dmitry Donskoy, the lead vessel of the Project 941 Akula (NATO reporting name Typhoon) class of ballistic missile submarines. “There are military training events planned for 2021 involving the cruiser. Decommissioning of the submarine is an issue of five years, at least,” said the source.
Dmitry Donskoy, along with the remaining Delta IV and III submarines currently serving in the Russian Navy, is due to be phased out over the coming decades by the new Borei class of nuclear-powered strategic submarines. But it appears that Dmitry Donskoi, which is currently active with Russia’s Northern Fleet, will not be among the first on the chopping block.
Dmitri Donskoy was laid down in 1976. It was the largest military submarine in the world—a title more recently contested, at least in length if not in displacement, by the Belgorod special purpose submarine. The Typhoon vessels boasted a slew of forward-looking features. Built in part from a premium titanium construction and multiple pressure hulls, Project 941 vessels are hardy enough to surface directly through ice.
They can also take a punch, with the multihull system protecting the crew and core internal components from certain types of breaches. They were armed with as many as twenty R-39 Rif submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), as well as six 533-millimeter torpedo tubes for self-defense.