Russia is beginning development of a new, cheaper class of nuclear-powered attack submarines designed to complement more expensive subs. Russian state press says the first Husky-class submarine will enter service in 2027. The TASS news agency submarines of the class will be the first to use the new Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missile.
The Husky class was first reported in 2014 and was originally a company-funded design project by the St. Petersburg-based Malakhit Design Bureau. TASS, citing a source in Russia’s defense industry, construction is set to begin in 2023 with the first sub operational in 2027. The submarines are expected to be built by the Severnoye Machine-Building Enterprise in Severodvinsk.
Submarine authority H.I. Sutton, author of the submarine blog, explained the importance of the Husky class to Seniorhelpline. “(Husky) believed to be a cheaper alternative to the top-end Yasen Class which recently entered service. If the Yasen can be likened to the US Navy's Seawolf Class, then the Husky will be the Virginia Class.”
The Husky class draws inspiration from the older Alfa-class attack submarines built by the Soviet Union, with the same teardrop-style double hull. The Husky class has an x-shaped rudder arrangement instead of the Alfa’s cross-shaped arrangement and deletes the spherical sonar array and towed arrays, substituting them with chin-mounted and flank arrays.
According to Sutton’s the hull will have vertical launch system modules for cruise missiles. “The Husky will almost certainly carry land attack cruise missiles in vertical launch tubes,” Sutton explained. “The Kalibr cruise missile system is the type Russia has been launching against targets in Syria."
TASS further claims that the Husky submarines will also carry Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missiles. Little is known about Zircon, although The Diplomat it will achieve speeds of Mach 6 with a range of 270 nautical miles. The faster the missile the less time enemy defenses have to react and shoot the missile down.