Updated, originally posted April-1 2017.
HUSKY / Pr.545 Laika: Russia's Next Generation Attack Submarine
Flag Russia has formally begun work on its next generation HUSKY Class (Хаски) attack submarine (SSN). The type is expected to to replace the AKULA and SIERRA Classes as a lower-cost complement to the Yasen (SEVERODVINSK) class SSGN. A Russian TV news broadcast from December 24 ( gave a new glimpse of the Project 545 'Laika' design which, logically, is the actual HUSKY design. The model was shown at the National Center for Defense Management. The name Laika refers to a Siberian hunting dog breed(s) similar to a husky sled dog.

Original Artwork, CLICK for HIGH RESOLUTION:

Russian HUSKY Class Submarine - Covert Shores
The Laika Class nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) will supersede the Project 971 AKULA Class SSN from the 2030s. Like other recent classes of attack submarines it is being developed by the Malachite design Bureau in St. Petersburg in the Baltic. It will likely serve in the Northern and Pacific fleets.
Russian HUSKY Class Submarine - Covert Shores

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In some respects similar in layout to the Yasen class (which is also a Malachite design) it will have a traditional cruciform tail with two-part control surfaces (i.e. not all-moving). A a single integral towed array in the upper rudder. The screw will be a typical screwback design. The choice not to go with a pumpjet propulsor, per the Borei class, appears to be a design bureau trait.
Russian HUSKY Class Submarine - Covert Shores

The lines of the model point towards a conformal main sonar array, likely related to the one on Yasen-M boats. And possibly large flank running almost the entire length of the hull. Having a conformal array from the begining (instead of the sperical array in the Yasen design linage) allows it to revert to direct-ahead torpedo tubes.

Displacement: 11,340 tons full displacement
Length: Tbc
Beam: Tbc
Speed: 35 knots
Depth: 600 meters
Propulsion: Nuclear
Endurance: 90 days
Complement: Tbc
Armament: 6 (?) x 533mm torpedo tubes in bow shooting directly ahead, and VLS. 3M14 Biryuza (Kalibr) land-attack cruise missiles, 3M22 Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missile, 3M55 Oniks supersonic anti-ship/land attack cruise missiles. Fizik-1 & USET-80 torpedoes. Predator(?) Anti-submarine missiles, mines. Igla point air defence missiles.
Other: Counter-torpedoes

Russian HUSKY Class Submarine - Covert Shores
Pr.545 Laika via zvezdanews

By the time it enters service the AKULA design will have been in service for about 50 years. It is also viewed as a cheaper alternative to the newer Project 885 YASEN Class SSGN which has been in very slow development for the past 40 years with the second boat (Project 885M YASEN-M) only launched on the 31st March 2017.
Russian HUSKY Class Submarine Хаски - Covert Shores

Earlier hints
Until recently the most credible images come from the Malachite Design Bureau although the actual design was not established. These showed a submarine resembling the AKULA Class but with X-form aft planes and a longer and more blended sail. In fact the hull looks essentially similar size and shape to the AKULA. The lengthened sail appears to be extended further forward relative to the AKULA, rather than behind. This leaves room for a 3 or 6 cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) behind the sail.
Malachite Design Bureau model - Click for high resolution:

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In a broke from the YASEN which features a spherical bow sonar array like US Navy boats, the model of the HUSKY has the torpedo tubes in the bow pointing directly forward with the sonar below it. The sonar dome appears smaller than the AKULA, pointing to the use of a more modern conformal array. Long flank arrays are also shown.
Russian HUSKY Class Submarine - Covert Shores

Original artwork. CLICK for high-resolution image.

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