|Hull number TK-208 was the lead vessel of the Soviet third generation Project 941 Akula class (NATO reporting name Typhoon) of ballistic missile submarines. She was laid down at the Severodvinsk shipyards on March 3, 1977 and launched on September 23, 1980. At 175 metres in length, she became the world's largest submarine, a record which she still holds today along with her five sister ships. |
In 1990, she entered the dry dock in Severodvinsk for upgrades and repairs. Due to both economic and technological problems, the completion was severely postponed. In 2000, work on her was intensified.
In June 2002, now serving in the Russian Navy, the TK-208 finally left the Severodvinsk dry dock. After 12 years of repairs and modifications, she had now received the name Dmitri Donskoi, named after the Grand Duke of Muscovy (1359-1389). The 20 R-39 missiles she once had carried were now replaced with the most advanced Russian submarine-launched ballistic missile to date, the Bulava (NATO reporting name SS-NX-30). Although she was built as a third generation submarine, she is now referred to as a fourth generation one due to her extensive modifications.
The first launch of a Bulava missile was carried out by the Dmitri Donskoi on September 27, 2005. The vessel was surfaced and fired the missile from a point in the White Sea. On December 21 the same year, the new missile system was tested underwater for the first time. It successfully hit a target on the Kura firing range on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Information from wikipedia.