RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 4, No. 239, Part I, 12 December 2000

RUSSIA TESTS NEW SUB. The new Gepard (Akula-class) nuclear
submarine has been launched for testing, Russian agencies
reported at the weekend. Named after one of Russia's first
submarines, which sunk during a patrol mission in the Baltic
Sea in 1917, the Gepard has a displacement of up to 12,700
tons, can reach 35 knots under water, and is able descend to
a depth of 600 meters. It carries 28 Granat cruise missiles,
which have a range of 3,000 kilometers. According to
Interfax, it is one of the quietest submarines in the Russian
Navy. Once all tests have been performed, the Gepard will
become part of the Northern Fleet. The launching of the new
submarine had been scheduled to take place in 1996 but was
repeatedly delayed owing to funding difficulties. JC

Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.