Russian Akula-class submarine floats out after the upgrade

The Russian Northern Fleet’s Project 971 ‘Shchuka-B’ (NATO reporting name: Akula) nuclear-powered submarine, the Leopard, has been floated out after repairs and upgrade at the Zvyozdochka Ship Repair Center, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“Zvezdochka has completed the hangar stage of the Leopard nuclear-powered submarine’s repairs and modernization. The submarine left the shipyard’s main hangar to have the remaining work completed at the pier of the enterprise,” the ministry said in a statement.

Project 971 submarines carry Kalibr-PL cruise missiles after their upgrade, according to reports. The nuclear-powered submarine Leopard is part of the Northern Fleet’s 24th submarine division. It arrived at the Zvyozdochka Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) for repairs and upgrade in 2011.

The same-type nuclear-powered submarine, the Vepr, completed its repairs and modernization at the Nerpa Ship Repair Plant (part of the Zvyozdochka Shipyard) on August 5.

Project 971 nuclear-powered submarines have been developed by the St. Petersburg-based Malakhit Marine Engineering Design Bureau. The Northern Fleet’s 24th division of submarine forces includes six nuclear-powered subs: the Leopard, the Vepr, the Tigr, the Pantera, the Gepard and the Volk.

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