Russia are in the process of upgrading 12 multi-purpose nuclear submarines in order to modernize them for war.
The nuclear submarines will be equipped with new weapons systems and missiles, and will have an extended shelf life by 20 years.
While details about the refitting of the Akula-class and Delta III-class boats remains unclear, the Oscar II-class vessels will likely be re-designated Project 949AM.
According to IHS Jane’s Navy International, “Along with improved acoustic, electronic, navigation and communications systems, Project 949AM submarines are understood to be receiving NPO Mashinostroyeniya 3M55 Oniks (SS-N-26 ‘Strobile’) anti-ship cruise missiles to replace their 3M45 Granit (SS-N-19 ‘Shipwreck’) missiles.”
Russian Admiral Viktor Chirkov, the navy’s commander-in-chief, already announced in March 2015 that Russia intends to upgrade 10 multi-purpose nuclear-powered submarines by 2020, including project 945 Sierra I-class SSNs.
He had also made previous statements to that effect in April 2014.