Russia Releases Photos of its Submarine Fleet

Russia SubmarinesThe Russian Defense Ministry released photos of a cargo ship transporting two of its nuclear-powered attack submarines in a pretty stunning set of photos.

Russia is transporting the Bratsk and the Samara Akula II-class submarines from Kamchatka to Severodvinsk where both are set to receive massive modernization upgrades at the Zvezdochka shipyard. The submarines will be ferried by the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet  along Russia’s frigid northern coast before it is set to arrive Sept. 20.

The release of the photos along with an update on the modernization of the Russian’s highly-secretive submarine fleet is what sticks out. RT was the first to publish the photos. 

The Bratsk was commissioned in 1989 and has since been assigned to the Pacific fleet. Samara is also assigned to the Pacific fleet. It is a bit younger, commissioned in 1995.

Russian Submarine 2Russian Submarine 3

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Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • Andy

    I thought the russian still have problem with Bolova missiles….BLUFF.

    • bobbymike

      What does this article have to do with the Bulava SLBM?

    • julll

      it cuba nos bolivia jajaj

  • Lance

    The Akula is a modernized Alfa sub mad in the 80s for longer range and size than the old Alfas had. In many ways there less capable currently than a LA class sub. But be interesting to see how they will be after there fleet is modernized. Id still say its a deadly sub and put it over any none US or British attack sub in the world.

  • scott

    Russian submarines of project 971 “Bratsk” and “Samara” and the Samara has a nice hole in the bow from a torpedo. credit EnglishRussia for my infomation August 28th Post.

  • frank

    Junk. Nothing more.

  • stephen russell

    Guess Russia has nothing to hide or Putin doesnt care or junk
    Odd theyve never done this in Cold War 1.

  • ben wah

    thats funny… seems like the chicoms are transporting two similar subs as well to russia for maintenance.

  • Guest

    Hope they get stuck in the ice.

  • Flires

    Very impressive, Russia – old submarines being transported over the water…

  • mpower6428

    I love this Sub talk…. its a change of pace

  • Ivan

    lol, what if the Somali Pirates get a hold of these.

    • Dave

      Nuclear disaster in 3..2..1..

    • Pat

      Don’t think any of the pirates are nuclear trained.

  • Dick Cole

    I imagine the intelligence folks will be looking VERY closely at the views of the screws. Interesting that the Russians would allow photos showing the screws to be released to the world.

  • wes

    Remember, when seeing an Iceburg, above the surface of the water, that it is the tip of the iceburg, and that is all it takes to sink the Titanic. You will not see the most recent subs.


      Great metaphor for most things on this site. Everyone is playing armchair admiral from mostly public info. Cheers.

  • Frank896

    What exactly are the upgrades? Best guess? Why would they show the top secret props?
    Late 80’s tech.

  • Erich

    Good grief they still are using propellers. Old school. We are using electromagnet impulse drives which make no sound and can propel a sub up to 70mph underwater.

    How bout them apples Ruskis?

    Good grief did I let a cat out of the bag or was it a giant shart!

    • Chas

      I thought that was “revealed” in The Hunt for Red October. And if we put credence in that story the Russians would have had the technology (magneto hydrodynamic propulsion) over 30 years ago. So did we “procure” it from them back then?

    • Merlinus

      It has been shown that the magnetic propulsion drive as in the “Hunt for red October” would prove to much noisier than a propeller drive.

    • alex

      US and Russia are not using MHD propulsion but both are using pump jet thrusters instead of exposed props on the newest subs.

    • Atomic Walrus

      Maybe you’re referring to the pumpjet propulsors used on newer British and American subs? They’re not magnetohydrodynamic, but the shroud does cut down noise significantly.

    • blight_qwerty

      Akulas are about 688/688i vintage. They are impressive subs in their own right but not exactly cutting edge.

      I’m guessing Yasen and Borei may go with propulsors, and that the ORP may go with one as well.

  • John Miller

    Part of the Soviet strategy in war is to overwhelm the enemy with massive numbers of second line military (cannon fodder) in order to diminish the enemy and run them out of ammo and then send the elite troops to finish them off. This was done by the Chicoms in Korea. Many of their first attack troops had no weapons but would pick up dropped weapons as they charged our troops.

  • Jim W

    Putin wants US to know that he is modernizing and upgrading! Its like showing your weapons load to let someone know you mean business

  • Recognizing another nation has a competent leader while ours does not doesn’t equate to wanting to be in that country. If your logic was accurate Democrats would be leaving the party in droves.

    Your sensitivity shows why the Pres got elected again despite his record. Party right or wrong is part of the nation’s ills.

  • rrobot14

    Perhaps they have some wicked stuff we haven’t seen and they’re showing us stuff that is in relative terms obsolete!

  • Mitch S.

    Using a Dutch company to move their subs
    Guess their European anti-boycott doesn’t apply to everything!
    (BTW IIRC Dockwise also moved the Cole)

  • James

    Ah, is there a reason they can’t get to their retrofit under their own power. LOL

  • djsee4

    I bet Russians’ are so hungry for US chicken already. They did occupy 40% of our national chicken exports second only to Mexico. I wonder how much 40% of US chicken exports cost them since they can now put that money into subs.

  • Bill K

    “Shark Week – Part 2”. These “Sharks (Akula) ” are more like beached whales. Maybe they’ll sell them.

  • James P. Dell

    No doubt the Russians realized that the US and other intelligence services would get pictures of the dated subs anyway. A good way to market them to others like India.

  • Guest

    I see no ducting to the subs, how would they cool reactors if they are still fueled, even if shutdown? If they are defueled, wouldn’t the access cuts remain open since they’ll need to be refueled once modernized?

  • Jack

    They can’t go by themselves????

  • Joe Biden

    They are being hauled on this garbage scow because they don’t run. Like most russian junk assembled by drunken heroin addicts, the lazy russian people are not smart enough to build anything that works.

  • Steve Conway

    Formidable boats in their time. But why would anyone refurbish 80s technology . Surly they are being hauled away for scrap.

  • haywood

    can’t be any worse than the 4 duds we have now………

  • kevinm

    how are they achieving decay heat removal while fully out of the water?

  • Mastro

    Not too impressive – no need to get alarmed.

    But the US Navy has lost a lot of anti-sub capability- even taking towed arrays off of many destroyers.

    We might need to spend some more bucks on that capability.

  • jeff

    Putins way of saying mine is bigger than yours.

  • Don

    Are they not boats themselves? The fact that they have to haul should tell you something!

  • mike anderson ETR1SN

    To read some of these posts you have to groan and try not to laugh. Hydro-pulse drives and 70 knot USA SSN’s. We used to hope our black/hole in the ocean was good enough because the Alphas went way deeper and way faster than anything we had and have now.
    Am glad they went belly-up and dry docked them. A hull is a hull these are solid titanium and can be converted to almost anything and the equipment can radically change the product. Laugh til they hit the ocean fool, then see what they have. What is scarey is the Russians actually repairing the Navy and adding to our problems at sea.

  • There are several ways to react to being lost. One is to panic: this was usually Valentina’s first impulse. Another is to abandon yourself to lostness, to allow the fact that you’ve misplaced yourself to change the way you experience the world.