President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, comrades, friends,
It gives me great pleasure to be back here again after one year. We have met today for a very serious and important reason: to launch the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine. My last visit was connected with the float-out of Yury Dolgoruky, another very positive event.
The new vessel is the first multipurpose submarine of the fourth generation. It is symbolic that this submarine will bear the name of your wonderful city.
Since the beginning of its operation in 1939, this shipyard has built 128 nuclear-powered submarines. In fact, this city has produced more nuclear submarines than any other place in the world.
The new submarine is an example of effective realisation of a complex and very ambitious project. The designers, the shipyard’s workers and everyone who took part in implementing this project have successfully completed the task at hand, employing the most advanced shipbuilding technologies available today.
The submarine’s tactical and technical characteristics will strengthen the Russian Navy’s group of missile carrying submarines. I hope that this will generally increase Russia’s combat capacity and our navy’s potential, and boost our position in the world oceans.
Last year we held a meeting where we discussed future development of a modern submarine fleet, a fleet that will match the level of threats in the world.
The majority of influential nations that have their own navy make heavy investments into their offensive and defensive systems. We must do the same. It is crucial for Russia to efficiently modernise its navy.
We must work harder to construct the most advanced ships and to build up stock for the future. Despite any current difficulties, it is our duty to put all our efforts into this. There is work in progress in line with the Government Arms Programme, and last week at a Security Council meeting on shipbuilding I issued instructions to work out a unified defence and civil shipbuilding programme. This programme will be adopted in the near future. One of its main goals is to create an entire series of vessels similar to the Severodvinsk submarine.
The decisions we make now serve as an important stimulus for the development of shipbuilding in general. We lost a lot of time in the 1990s and cannot afford to wait any longer. These programmes must be implemented despite economic problems and the financial crisis. And we must do it in such a way as to gain competitive advantages, concentrating financial and human resources on priority projects.
Shipyards must renew their former cooperation ties and create new ones. They must spend government funding in a rational and practical way, and attract additional investments.
I am confident that the decisions we have made and the mechanisms of public-private partnerships we are creating will help them to reach these goals.
I would like to thank the Sevmash staff once again for their hard work, as well as everyone who contributed to the production of this submarine: designers and all the people who have worked on it. Unfortunately, the process took a long time, so let us hope that in the future new submarines will be built faster.
You have new projects ahead, and I am absolutely sure that your skills and your professionalism will be used to the fullest extent. I am confident that the synergy of our teamwork will continue to bring results.
I wish you every success and all the best.