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MOSCOW, June 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will start construction of a second Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine in July, a shipbuilding industry official said on Thursday.
Project 855 Yasen (Graney) class nuclear submarines combine the ability to launch a variety of long-range cruise missiles (up to 3,100 miles) with nuclear warheads, and effectively engage hostile submarines and surface warships.
"A second Yasen class nuclear submarine will be laid down on July 24 at the Sevmash shipyard on the eve of Russian Navy Day," said Vladimir Pyalov, general director of the Malakhit design bureau.
Pyalov said the new sub would be named Kazan.
Work on the first submarine in the series - the Severodvinsk - started in 1992, and the vessel had been scheduled to be commissioned before 1998. However, the construction was significantly delayed for financial reasons, and work had been suspended until 2001.
In 2003 Sevmash reportedly received extra funding to accelerate the completion of the Severodvinsk. Since then, the construction cost of the submarine had to be adjusted, and in 2008 financing totaled 4 billion rubles ($146 mln).
Pyalov confirmed on Thursday that the Severodvinsk would be commissioned by the Russian Navy in 2010.
"The Sevmash shipyard will float out the Severodvinsk submarine in December this year, and after a series of sea trials it will join the Russian navy in 2010," the official said.
The submarine's armament includes 24 cruise missiles, including the 3M51 Alfa SLCM, the SS-NX-26 Oniks SLCM or the SS-N-21 Granat/Sampson SLCM. It will also have eight torpedo tubes as well as mines and anti-ship missiles such as SS-N-16 Stallion.
Russia's Navy commander, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, said in July last year that the construction of new-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile and attack submarines is a top priority for the Russian Navy's development.
Under the Russian State Arms Procurement Program for 2007-2015, the Navy will receive several dozen surface ships and submarines, including five Project 955 Borey nuclear-powered strategic ballistic missile submarines equipped with new Bulava ballistic missiles, two Project 885 Yasen nuclear-powered multipurpose submarines, six Project 677 Lada diesel-electric submarines, three Project 22350 frigates and five Project 20380 corvettes.
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.