MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Navy has hoisted its flag on a new nuclear powered submarine that will form a key part of the country's future nuclear deterrent.
President Vladimir Putin congratulated the crew of the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine during a conference call Thursday.
The submarine's construction started in 1995 but was slowed down by a post-Soviet economic meltdown and it wasn't until 2009 when it finally entered sea trials. The submarine's commissioning was delayed further by problems with the new Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile intended to arm it.
The Bulava suffered a string of failures during tests that dragged on for years, raising doubts about the future of the most expensive military project in Russia's post-Soviet history. Recent tests, however, have been successful, allowing the navy to finally commission the submarine.