Victor Filipov Izvestia, June 5, 2001, p. 2

The Russian Navy prepares for receiving a new submarine. Specialists state that the Gepard nuclear submarine is more up-to-date than the Kursk submarine which perished in the Barents Sea

The Gepard nuclear submarine built by Sevmashpredpriyatie (Severodvinsk) has headed for the White Sea where it will be tested. This is the final phase of tests that will last several weeks. It is possible that the Gepard will be passed over to the Russian Navy in July.

The creation of the Gepard multipurpose nuclear submarine started in 1991 and it was built in 1999 when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited the Arkhangelsk region. The Gepard is smaller than the Kursk nuclear submarine (incidentally, the Kursk was built by the same plant) but more perfect from a technical and combat respect. According to reports from open sources, the Gepard submarine of 12,770 tons displacement is 110.3 meters long and 13.6 meters wide. The submarine can dive up to 600 meters and move at a speed of 33 knots. The crew consists of 73 servicemen. The Gepard can spend 100 days at sea. The submarine is equipped with 24 cruise missiles with nuclear warheads.

According to Raisa Elimelakh, Press Secretary of the defense dock, designers discovered several defects during last year’s tests. In particular, the communication antenna malfunctioned. The submarine has been repaired. The Gepard will be examined on the firing range of the Belomorskaya naval base. In addition, the military will conduct acoustic tests. As of now the Gepard is the most silent submarine in the world. The Los Angeles submarines (US) equipped with the AN/BQQ-5 hydro-acoustic system can only detect the Gepard at a distance of ten kilometers.

In the meantime the plant had to build the submarine using its own resources because the Defense Ministry has not been paying for its orders since 1998.