Russia's belligerence is quite evident on land. The country's military continues to mass along the Ukrainian border, and its efforts in Chechnya have left it battle hardened. Not to be forgotten, though, is the former Red Navy, which has just laid the keels for three new submarines.

Construction began on the new ballistic missile sub and two attack subs – all three are nuclear powered – on July 27, in honor of Russian Navy Day. The SSBN is a Dolgoruky-class (shown above, background, is the lead ship of the class, with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev), the fifth of an expected eight. As students of the Russian Navy will know, these are the subs that are actively replacing the former Soviet Navy's dreaded Typhoon-class. They're slightly smaller, although they can still pack 16 Bulava ballistic missiles, each of which is capable of carrying six independent warheads.

The other two boats, both Yasen-class attack subs, are the fourth and fifth boats in their class. Like the Dolgoruky-class, the Yasen-class subs are meant to replace Soviet-era subs, like the Akula-class and Oscar-class. They have a maximum submerged speed of about 35 knots (40 miles per hour), can carry 40 Klub cruise missiles and they have a total of 10 torpedo tubes.

"These ships in the coming decades will be the basis of the Navy and are guaranteed to provide [the necessary] defense capabilities and security for our country," Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters at the Sevmash dockyard, according to IHS Jane's 360.

Jane's is expecting the three new boats to end up in Russia's Northern Fleet.

Share This Photo X