The Russian Navy is set to launch the first of its modernized Borei-A (Project 955-A) submarines, the Knyaz Vladimir, next month, Russian media say.
These plans were revealed by Russian Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Korolev in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper.
This announcement follows an earlier one in which Korolev said the Knyaz Vladimir would be launched in August. The admiral did not elaborate what caused the submarine to miss the first launch date.
The submarine is still expected to be delivered to the Russian Navy in 2018.
Russian shipbuilder Sevmash Shipyard started construction works on the Knyaz Vladimir in 2012, with a six-year pause in construction starts between the third and final Project 955 submarine Vladimir Monomakh, and the first of the improved Project 955-A boats.
Compared to the first three boats, inducted into the navy between 2013 and 2014, Borei-A boats are built with four additional missile tubes making them capable of carrying a total of 20 Bulava (RSM-56) ballistic missiles. Apart from missiles, the new boats reportedly benefit from improved acoustics and better sensors.
The Russian Navy intends to operate a total of eight Project 955 and 955-A boats. The keel for the final one, the Kniaz Pozharsky, was laid in Severodvinsk on December 23, 2016.