Russian submarine K-561 Kazan attacks Barents with cruiser Kalibr

Introducing the K-561 Kazan, a leading representative of Russia’s Yasen-M class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines. During tests in the Barents Sea, Russia’s K-561 Kazan submarine successfully launched a Kalibr cruise missile.

On April 4, 2024, the Russian Northern Fleet information office announced that the K-561 Kazan nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine had successfully completed the Kalibr cruise missile test launch.

This exercise was carried out in the Barents Sea and targeted a ground target at the Chizha range. The Russian television channel “Zvezda” confirmed this event by providing images of the launch.

During scheduled training and combat operations, the Kazan nuclear submarine demonstrated its tactical capabilities by deploying the Kalibr cruise missile belonging to the Northern Fleet. The precision and accuracy of the launch were confirmed by objective observation, thus corroborating the design parameters and flight trajectory of the missile.

Tactical evaluation of the Kalibr cruise missile by the Kazan submarine

Russian submarine K-561 Kazan attacks Barents with cruiser Kalibr
Russian submarine K-561 Kazan

The 3M14K Kalibr-PL, a member of the extensive Kalibr missile family and designed specifically for launch from submarines, is distinguished by its ability to hit land targets at long range accurately. This missile benefits from variants adapted for both land and naval operations.

The propulsion system of the 3M14K Kalibr-PL is divided into two phases: an initial solid-fuel rocket booster that facilitates the launch of the missile and reaches the optimal speed, followed by a turbojet engine that maintains momentum during cruise flight.

This missile is characterized by a structure composed of three main elements: the propulsion system, an advanced guidance system, and the warhead. The integration of satellite navigation, inertial, and topographic contour matching allows the missile to navigate with great precision toward its target.

One of the most notable attributes of the 3M14K Kalibr-PL is its extensive operational range, which is estimated to be no less than 2,500 kilometers or approximately 1,550 miles. This range allows submarines to launch the missile from safe positions, far from the range of enemy countermeasures.

The 3M14K Kalibr-PL is armed with a high-explosive warhead, weighing around 450 kilograms (990 lb). The amount of explosives contained in the warhead has not been disclosed, maintaining the veil of secrecy over this critical aspect of the weaponry.

Capabilities and technology of the K-561 Kazan submarine

Russian submarine K-561 Kazan attacks Barents with cruiser Kalibr
kalibr cruise missile

Introducing the K-561 Kazan, a leading representative of Russia’s Yasen-M class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines. Named after the city of Kazan, this submarine encapsulates Russian technological advancement through its remarkable level of automation and complex systems integration.

The core of this imposing underwater ship is its OK-650KPM nuclear reactor, a propulsion engine that generates 190 MWt, providing energy to a steam turbine connected to a single shaft. In emergency situations, Kazan is equipped with diesel generators and backup batteries, which ensure its operability under any circumstances.

Specifications and Performance of the Kazan Nuclear Submarine

With a length of 139 meters and a width of 13 meters, the Kazan presents itself as a formidable presence at sea, displacing 13,800 tons on the surface and 14,700 tons submerged.

Its design and dimensions allow superior navigation both on the surface and underwater, with a maximum speed of 20 knots on the surface and 28 knots when submerged. This submarine has the capacity to operate up to 600 meters deep and is equipped with the latest in sonar, radar, and electronic warfare systems technology.

On board, the Kazan operates with a crew of 64 members, a number reduced thanks to its advanced level of automation. Nuclear propulsion gives it a practically unlimited operating range, with the only restriction being food and maintenance needs, allowing submersion periods of up to 100 days.

Armament and offensive strategy of the K-561 Kazan

Equipped with a diverse arsenal, the K-561 Kazan houses 8 vertical launch systems (VLS) silos and 10 torpedo tubes, providing a significant strategic advantage.

Its weapons suite includes the P-800 Oniks, Kalibr cruise missiles, and the innovative 3M22 Zircon hypersonic cruise missile. Complementing these offensive capabilities is a range of torpedoes, including the Type 53 and the RPK-2 Viyuga anti-submarine missile, ready to meet any maritime challenge.

Western experts, including Dr. Andrew Krepinevich of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Admiral James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, and Admiral Gary Roughead, former Chief of Naval Operations, have expressed appreciation for the capabilities of the Yasen-M class submarines.

Their advanced stealth technology, combined with a formidable arsenal, positions them as top-tier competitors in the underwater realm, symbolizing Russia’s resurgence as a dominant maritime power.