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SEVERODVINSK, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Construction of a second Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine started on Friday at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia, the company said.
Graney class nuclear submarines combine the ability to launch a variety of long-range cruise missiles (up to 3,100 miles) with nuclear warheads, and effectively engage hostile submarines, surface warships and land-based targets.
The Kazan submarine will feature more advanced equipment than the first vessel in the series -the Severodvinsk, which was laid down in 1992 and is scheduled to join the Russian navy in 2010 or early 2011 after a long delay for financial reasons.
"The second submarine will have improved electronics and fire-control systems, and will be built exclusively with Russian-made materials and components," Sevmash spokeswoman Anastasia Nikitinskaya said.
The submarine's armament will include 24 cruise missiles, including the 3M51 Alfa SLCM, the SS-NX-26 Oniks SLCM or the SS-N-21 Granat/Sampson SLCM. It will also have eight torpedo tubes as well as mines and anti-ship missiles such as SS-N-16 Stallion.
Russia's Navy commander, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, said in July last year that the construction of new-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile and attack submarines was a top priority for the Russian Navy.
Under the Russian State Arms Procurement Program for 2007-2015, the Navy is expected to receive at least five Project 955 Borey nuclear-powered strategic submarines equipped with new Bulava ballistic missiles and two Project 885 Yasen nuclear multipurpose attack submarines.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.