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SEVERODVINSK, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Construction of a second Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine started on Friday at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia, the company said.
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, surface warships and land-based targets.
The Kazan submarine will feature more advanced equipment than the first vessel in the series -the Severodvinsk, which was laid down in 1992 and is scheduled to join the Russian navy in 2010 or early 2011 after a long delay for financial reasons.
"The second submarine will have improved electronics and fire-control systems, and will be built exclusively with Russian-made materials and components," Sevmash spokeswoman Anastasia Nikitinskaya said.
The submarine's armament will include 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 was a top priority for the Russian Navy.
Under the Russian State Arms Procurement Program for 2007-2015, the Navy is expected to receive at least five Project 955 Borey nuclear-powered strategic submarines equipped with new Bulava ballistic missiles and two Project 885 Yasen nuclear multipurpose attack submarines.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.