Vladimir Dorofeyev, CEO of Russia’s Malakhit Marine Engineering Design Bureau, told TASS in 2015 that “the work on the fifth-generation of submarines is already underway.” Now an anonymous source deep within the Russian defense sector told TASSon Thursday that the Husky-class fifth-generation nuclear-powered submarine will be armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles with a deployment date of 2027.
“The Husky has been included in the state armament program for 2018-2027. There are plans to start the experimental design work on the construction of submarines of this class from 2023 and deliver the lead vessel by the end of 2027,” the unnamed source said.
“Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles will become the main armament of the newest multipurpose submarine,” the source added.
Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau, a shipbuilding company and segment of United Shipbuilding Corporation based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, announced in early 2014 that it started designing a fifth-generation nuclear-powered submarine. In 2016, Malakhit signed an R&D contract with Russia’s Defense Ministry for further designs of the sub, dubbed Project Husky. Last month (April), Head of Russia’s United Ship-Building Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov said the project would be finalized entirely regarding compliance requirements from the Russian Navy. TASS expects the Severnoye Machine-Building Enterprise (Severodvinsk) to be the builder of the new submarines starting in 2023.
TASS nor their anonymous defense source shared any information relating to design characteristics of the submarine.
“The future submarine’s performance characteristics have been classified. According to open sources, the Husky will feature a two-hull design traditional for the Russian Navy and displace 12,000 tonnes. The submarine will be furnished with the most advanced combat information and control system, a sonar and a system of integration into the unified information space of the Russian Armed Forces,” TASS said.
The defense source told TASS that the Zircon hypersonic missile system would be one of the main armaments on the sub. Currently, the West does not have any missile defense systems to thwart a Russian hypersonic attack. That is why President Trump and the Pentagon are scrambling with record amounts of military spending in modernization efforts to prepare for the modern battlefield, in which, a world where Russia and China have superior weapons. Even Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command recently said the U.S. is powerless against hypersonic missile attacks from Russia.
Russia’s future development of a fifth-generation nuclear-powered submarine coupled with hypersonic missiles could be more evidence that Russia is attempting to counter America’s naval superiority. While the Zircon hypersonic missile has already entered service, it seems like Russia is gaining an edge when it comes to hypersonic technologies versus the West.
The shiny new military weapons for the next war are being designed and manufactured today, which includes fifth-generation vehicles and hypersonic weapons. War remains on the horizon.