originally posted July 16th 2019
BOREI-II class SSBN in Sonar tests
Information surfaced on the Russian internet which confirms that the lead BOREI-II Class ballistic missile submarine, K-549 Knyaz Vladimir, is readying for sonar tests. The frame seen was previously misidentified as a telemetery mast for missile test launches but in fact relates to testing and calibrate the digitally formed passive sonar beams.
The crane-like structure swings out over the bow sonar dome, and is the same device as used on the BOREI-I and some other submarines:
There is also a smaller mast mid-way along the missile deck.
The image can be geolocated to Severodvinsk where K-549 Knyaz Vladimir is undergoing sea trials. The masts in the background mark the weapons loading pier at 64°34'7.92"N, 39°46'9.30"E. These are on the south side of the harbor so the submarine was outbound when the photograph was taken, in the vicinity of 64°34'34.28"N, 39°46'42.72"E. The date of the photo cannot be ascertained from the metadata but is likely to be very recent.
The submarine will carry the RSM-56 Bulava (3M30 Булава, NATO: SS-N-32) missile which has a range of 5,800 miles (5,040 nm) and can carry 6 x 150 kt MIRVs (Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles) plus up to 40 decoys.
The photo shows the large folding telemetry mast on the bow which is used to take measurements when the submarine conducts missile launch tests. The height of the mast when raised will indicate the launch depth of the missiles.
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