The repair the Losharik AS-31 submarine, which was damaged in deadly fire on 1 July 2019, may take up to four years, as per TASS. “Repair works of the Losharik submersible may take up to four years,” the source said. “The submersible will be then returned to its combat duty.” The NATO reporting name for this submarine is NORSUB-5.
The secretive nuclear-powered submersible will undergo repairs at Sevmash Shipyard, which is a part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. The cause of the fire which killed 14 submariners aboard is likely due to an explosion and a faulty lithium battery. In early November, the submarine was sent to the Zvyozdochka Shipyard in Severodvinsk in the northern Arkhangelsk Region. Losharik was towed to the facility for repairs in the fall of 2019.
Losharik is normally attached to a Mothership Podmoskovye which is a refitted Project 667BDRM Delfin-class ballistic missile submarine (NATO reporting name Delta IV) and designated BS-64. Podmoskovye replaced the Yankee ‘Stretch’-class KS-411, which had been the Mothership for the Paltus-class mini submarines.
On June 2020, it was announced that there will be no removal of the reactor core of the Losharik submersible and it was rescheduled for 2021. Zvezdochka shipyard was already working on the older AS-15 Kashalot-class submarine. AS-15 along with its sister submarine AS-13 Kashalot-class submarine are research and special operations submarines like the AS-31.
(Image credit: Image: Navy Lookout Magazine)