The upgraded submarines of the project 949AM “Antey” will become the most armed Russian cruise missile submarines and will be able to carry on board up to 72 “Calibers”, “Onyx” or “Zircons”. This will make them the most armed underwater cruise missile carriers in the Russian Navy.
What’s the plan?
The submarines upgraded according to the 949AM project “Antey” will be able to carry 72 hypersonic missiles “Zircon”. Modernization work is currently underway on two K-132 «Irkutsk » and K-442 «Chelyabinsk » submarines. They will return to the fleet in 2022 and 2025, respectively.
The project of modernization of the project 949A submarine was developed in the Central Design Bureau “Rubin” back in December 2011. Work on the redesign of the K-132 submarine “Irkutsk” started in 2013. But sources in the shipbuilding industry reported that in fact the modernization process started only in 2019. It should be completed in 2022.
The remaining five submarines of this project, which are currently in service, can also undergo modernization and arm themselves with hypersonic missiles “Zircon”.
The number of missiles on the upgraded “Antey” will increase significantly. They will be equipped, in particular, with cruise missiles “Caliber” and hypersonic missiles “Zircon”.
Not only the equipment of submarines will be updated. The modernization will also affect combat information systems, communication systems, sonar and some other aspects. As a result, according to experts, combat capabilities will increase by about four times
About the Project 949AM «Antey»
949A Submarines “Antey” developed in the Central Design Bureau of Marine Technology “Rubin”. In 1985-1996, 11 submarines of this class were built. The submarines have an underwater displacement of about 24 thousand tons, the length of the hull is 154 meters, the width is more than 18 meters. Submarines develop underwater speeds of up to 32 knots, dive to a depth of 600 meters. The main purpose of “Anteev” is the destruction of enemy aircraft carrier formations.
What happened before?
The first samples of submarines of the project “Antey”, developed in the Central Design Bureau “Rubin”, were armed with 24 supersonic anti-ship missiles “Granite”. They were excellent anti-ship missiles. But needs, and technologies, do not stand still and now there are new developments. The speed of Granite is less than that of the new generation of Caliber missiles.
What is the upgrade of weapons?
From cruise missiles, submarines can be supplied with “Calibers”, “Onyx” or “Zircons”.
The Zircon rocket currently has no analogues in the world and is capable of carrying out a long aerodynamic flight with maneuvering in dense layers of the atmosphere, using the thrust of its own engine along the entire route. It can reach speeds of up to 10.7 thousand km/h with a maximum range of 1000 km. For comparison, the American Raytheon rocket is moving in the upper atmosphere at a speed of about 6.2 thousand km/h.
The main advantages of the Caliber include the fact that it cannot be shot down by modern air defense systems.
The supersonic medium-range missile “Onyx” was adopted in Russia in 2002. The development of this type of missiles was carried out back in the 80s of the last century. Initially, Onyx was created to defeat naval targets, but now there is a version for land targets as well.
Due to the new hypersonic shipboard missiles “Zircon”, Russia will be able to destroy the US nuclear weapons storage facilities in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. A preemptive strike will neutralize the threat of a nuclear conflict in the region, experts say.
What else is on board?
The total ammunition of one submarine of the 949AM project will be about 100 units of missile, torpedo and missile-torpedo weapons. One incomplete missile salvo of such a submarine will be enough to guarantee the destruction of an aircraft carrier multi-purpose group.