Financial difficulties hinder repairs and upgrade of Russian strategic nuclear submarines

The program originally stipulated to finish the repairs by 2007, but is likely to be postponed due to the unstable money transfers from the defence ministry, Interfax reported referring to a source at Zvezdochka shipyard.

The sea trials of K-114 Tula submarine were scheduled for spring but delays with delivery of the new sonar system led to another postponement. Meanwhile the commander of the submarine prolonged the sponsorship agreement of city Tula for the submarine’s crew. The mayor of Tula promised to send working and sport clothes to the submariners as well as a minibus. In exchange, every year Tula submarine receives conscripts from the sister-city. The submarine commander also promised to invite representatives from Tula when the submarine is back in operation after the overhaul in October 2005. The upgrade of K-114 will allow the submarine to operate 10 years more. The project 667 Tula, Delta-IV, was built at the Sevmash plant in 1987 K-114 sub is one of the last Soviet built subs. Sevmash built it in 1987. Tula got its name in 1995 together with the sponsorship from the city of Tula.

The biggest difficulties are with K-117 Bryansk, which is underfinanced and could be hardly finished even in 2007. K-18 Karelia, where president Putin drank seawater and became a submariner, also lacks financing. No repair works at all were carried out at the presidential Delta-IV.

Earlier Zvezdochka shipyard has successfully repaired Verhoturye and Ekaterinburg, the subs of the same class, Interfax reported.