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Next-generation Russian subs join Arctic fleet

Country’s first post-Soviet attack submarines will spearhead nuclear fleet
Go north, young submariner

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The Russian navy received the first two of its next generation attack submarines on Monday, according to that country’s defence ministry.

The two submarines, Yury Dolgoruky and the Alexander Nevsky, will be stationed at Gadzhiyevo, near the city of Murmansk, in the Russian Arctic. They are the first of a total of 10 Borey-class submarines scheduled to be built by 2020.

The Borei is Russia’s first post-Soviet ballistic missile submarine class and will replace ageing Typhoon, Delta-3 and Delta-4 class subs.

SEE VIDEO: Borei subs in action (at end of article)

The 170m, nuclear-powered Borei subs are capable of carrying 16 Bulava class missiles, which have a payload of up to ten nuclear warheads. The subs were designed parallel with the new missile class.

A third Borei sub, Vladimir Monomakh, is currently conducting sea trials and is expected to enter into service at the start of 2014. Its entry into service was delayed after a failed Bulava test firing in October.

A fourth is currently under construction and naval officials confirmed in November that work on a fifth would begin at the end of 2014.

SEE RELATED: All’s quiet on the Arctic front

The two subs had originally been scheduled to enter into service in the Pacific fleet, according to media reports. The reassignment to Russia’s Northern fleet comes as the country is reinvigorating its Arctic military capability.

In addition to re-opening bases shuttered after the Cold War, the country’s navy recently confirmed construction of three Bulava missile storage facilities in Severomorsk, a three-hour sail from Gadzhiyevo.

In November, it also announced construction of what is expected to be the world's largest icebreaker.

Earlier this month, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, confirmed his country’s renewed military focus on the region.

Speaking at a meeting with the top military officers on December 11, Putin told the press that Russia was “intensifying the development of that promising region” and needs to have “every lever for the protection of its security and national interests there”.

The developments come as commercial, scientific and military activity in the region is on the increase.

Other countries, including Denmark and Canada, have presiously announced plans to strenghten their military capabilities in the Arctic.