Russian domestic enterprises involved in the creation of an air-independent power plant (VNEU) for promising diesel-electric submarines, have suspended work due to underfunding. About this Mil.Press FlotProm reported sources in the Central Design Bureau "Rubin" and the Central Research Institute of Ship Electrical Engineering and Technology (TSNII SET).
According to the interlocutors of the publication in both enterprises, the creation of elements of the VNEU is now virtually not conducted. This situation persists for about one and a half years due to lack of funds.
Representatives of the enterprises added that the beginning of anaerobic plant tests on a specific submarine of the 677 project, the cipher "Lada", will begin, at best, at the last stage of the state armaments program, calculated until 2027. It is the Lada that the Navy regards as its basic project for building a diesel-electric submarine with a VNEU, Mil.Press FlotProm was told in June 2017 by Vice-Admiral Viktor Bursuk, who was then deputy head of the fleet for armaments.
In January 2018, industry sources told the publication that the developers of the VNEU, among which the Malakhit Central Design Bureau, are awaiting funds for the continuation of work. More than a year later, the situation has not changed.
Valery Polovinkin, scientific director of the Krylov State Research Center, told Mil.Press FlotProm that India was interested in the development of the VNEU, which could provide the necessary funding. This will help and domestic development. At the same time, the scientist added, the current trend in the behavior of foreign customers is a request for a working product that has already been tested in operation, such as, for example, Russian equipment used in Syria.
The main advantage of the air-independent power plant is an increase in the submarine’s secrecy. The submarine gets the opportunity to be under water without ascent to charge batteries for up to 2-3 weeks.