The St. Petersburg-based Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau has launched R&D work codenamed Laika to develop a fifth-generation multipurpose nuclear-powered submarine, a source in the defense industry told TASS on Wednesday.
As the source specified, “late in 2018, the Malakhit completed R&D work codenamed Husky on defining the conceptual design of the fifth-generation multipurpose nuclear-powered submarine and the results of the work were approved by the Defense Ministry.”
“After that, the Malakhit switched to the next stage of developing the submarine – the R&D work codenamed Laika,” the source said.
The source gave no technical parameters of the submarine being developed but noted that “Tsirkon hypersonic missiles will be among its strike weapons.” The source added that the Laika “will feature a modular configuration and a single integrated combat control system with artificial intelligence.”
Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation declined to comment to TASS on the information about the start of the R&D work on the fifth-generation submarine.
In June 2018, the Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau said in its annual report that the R&D work on the promising fifth-generation multipurpose nuclear-powered submarine was due to begin in 2019. The document noted that this work was stipulated in the draft state armament program for 2018-2027 but the work’s codename was not given.
Work on fifth-generation submarines
It has been reported on many occasions that Russia is working on the conceptual design of a new-generation submarine. In particular, United Shipbuilding Corporation Chief Alexei Rakhmanov said in May 2018 that specialists had proposed several versions of the submarine’s conceptual design, of which the optical option would be chosen. He said at the time that the new submarine would be named Husky.
Russia is currently building a series of fourth-generation multipurpose submarines, namely, Yasen-class subs and Borei strategic underwater missile cruisers.