Russia has launched its K-328 Leopard Project 971 Akula-I class submarine in Severodvinsk following modernization.

The Leopard became the first third-generation vessel to undergo medium repair and deep modernization at Zvezdochka Shipyard under the Navy’s upgrade project, the Russian defense ministry announced.

The on-board electronics, control systems, communications, navigation, hydroacoustics and BIUS were replaced. In addition, the Leopard’s acoustic signature was reduced.

The submarine is now armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, the same missile that recently hit a target 1,000km away after being fired from a Project 885M submarine.

Most Project 971 submarines went on combat duty in late 1980s — early 1990s. Project 971 was armed with universal UGST deepwater homing torpedoes, electric USET-80 homing torpedoes and underwater Shkval missiles. It initially had S-10 Granat complex with long-range cruise missiles. They can be fired from 553mm torpedo launchers at adversary targets with known coordinates.

The K-328 Leopard was laid down at Sevmash on October 26, 1988. It entered service in February 1993.

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