Photo Credit: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
Russia’s K-560 submarine Severodvinsk.

The first Yasen class––Russian designations Project 885––nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines manufactured by the shipbuilding corporation Sevmash, will enter service with the Russian Navy in 2026, TASS reported on Thursday, citing a source close to the Russian defense ministry. Before that, the submarine will undergo trials in late 2024 or early 2025, the same source said.

According to defense industry publications, the Yasen class design is state-of-the-art and presumed to be armed with land-attack cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, and anti-submarine missiles. In the future, the Yasen will carry the hypersonic 3M22 Zircon cruise missiles on upgraded 855M boats.


Each submarine can carry 32 Kalibr or 24 Oniks cruise missiles which are stored in eight vertical launchers. Additional missiles may be stored in the torpedo room instead of torpedoes. The Yasen subs will also have ten 533 mm tubes, as well as mines and anti-submarine missiles.

Needless to say, should the war against Ukraine continue into 2026, the Yasen class submarines could alter the outcome decisively by firing at the heart of Ukraine from the Black Sea.

The Yasen-class submarines are the first to be equipped with a fourth-generation nuclear reactor, built by Afrikantov OKBM, with a 25-30-year core life – meaning it won’t require refueling. The new generation KTP-6 reactor on the Yasen will significantly reduce their noise level: the reactor’s primary cooling loop facilitates the natural circulation of water and doesn’t require continuous operation of the main circulation pumps––the main sources of noise on a nuclear submarine.

According to retired Admiral James Foggo III, who last served as commander of United States Naval Forces, Commander of the US Naval Forces Europe, the Yasen class submarines are “very quiet, which is the most important thing in submarine warfare”. 


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