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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Modernizing spy-sub “Sarov”

Less than two years after it entered service in the Fleet, the top-secret spy-sub B-90 “Sarov” is at the White Sea Navy Base in Severodvinsk for modernization, Russian media reports.According to newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a representative of the Zvezdochka yard in Severodvinsk confirms that the vessel is in the area for upcoming upgrades.

The B-90 "Sarov" (photo: Sevmash)

The upgrades are made less than two years after the vessel entered service in the Northern Fleet, the newspaper informs. As BarentsObserver has reported, one of the unique features of the spy-sub is its ultra-small nuclear reactor aimed to charge the subs batteries, so it can stay much longer underwater, totally silent, than normal diesel-electric submarines. This is most important for a submarine aimed for spy-voyages not to be detected by foreign vessels, submarines, or detection systems on the seabed.

As also reported by BarentsObserver, it is expected that the “Sarov” is operating in northern waters from bases in the Kola Peninsula.

According to, the vessel has since it was included in the fleet on 7 August 2008 conducted a number of specialized operations. After each operation, the vessel has undergone technical improvements. None of the newspaper’s sources want to reveal the essence of the latest upgrades. They could however be connected with sub’s new type of reactor, the newspaper writes.

The B-90 “Sarov” was built in Nizhny Novgorod, and transported via Russia’s inner waterways to the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk were it was equipped with its engines and nuclear reactor. The vessel was originally to be completed in 1993, but construction was halted due to money draught and the need for technical improvements.