CHEREPOVETS (Central Russia), September 5 (RIA Novosti)
Russia's first Borey class strategic submarine will be put into service with the Pacific Fleet in 2011, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.
The Yury Dolgoruky, which has recently completed sea trials in the White Sea, is expected to be commissioned by the Russian Navy pending the outcome of Bulava ballistic missile testing.
"The submarine is successfully undergoing trials. It should be delivered to the Pacific Fleet this year," Putin said at a meeting with United Russia activists.
On August 27, the Yury Dolgoruky conducted a successful launch of a Bulava missile at a range of 9,100 kilometers (about 5,650 miles).
Three other Borey class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky, the Vladimir Monomakh, and Svyatitel Nikolai (St. Nicholas) are in different stages of completion. Russia is planning to build eight of these subs by 2015.
Putin said on Monday that the government had allocated 4.7 trillion rubles ($160 bln) for the modernization of the Russian Navy until 2020.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.