The Laika class is the third new post-Cold War submarine scheduled to enter production and will replace the Akula (“Shark”) and Victor (NATO code name) submarine classes. According to submarine authority H.I. Sutton, author of the Covert Shores website and contributor at Naval News, the Laika class will incorporate many new design features to allow Russia’s attack submarine fleet to catch up to western standards.
The Laika class is being developed by the Malachite design Bureau in St. Petersburg, Russia. The submarines will displace 11,340 tons, making them considerably larger than the U.S. Navy’s current Virginia class submarines at 8,700 tons.
That’s an awfully ambitious sub for a country with a fraction of the shipbuilding capability (and skillset) it enjoyed 30 years ago.