Reviewed by Vladimir Yakubov

Yuri Dolgoruky is the head ship of the new Russian SSBN class. It is being built under the project 955 codenamed Borei. This is the first major warship to be built fully in Russia (as opposed to finishing the ships that were started during the Soviet Union). The gestation of the project has been extended and painful. Laid down in 1996 at the height of Russia's economic meltdown it received virtually no financing until the beginning of 2000s and only in 2004 financing reached acceptable levels. The submarine was launched in 2008 and is currently (2010) undergoing sea trials. Three more submarines of the class have been laud down under the improved project - Alexander Nevsky (ld. 2004) and Vladimir Monomakh (ld. 2006) under project 955A (will carry 20 missiles instead of 16) , while Svyatitel' Nikolai was/will be laid down in 2010 (sources differ) under the project 995U (improved).

Unfortunately the troubles for the Russian haven't ended there - initially the sub was supposed to be armed with R-39UTTX Bark, but the development of that missile was cancelled and instead the development of the R-30 Bulava (a naval version of the land based Topol-M ICBM) was started. The problem for the Russians is that during the test launches only 5 of the 11 were successful and the testing will only resume in the later part of 2010. So until that is solved the submarine will remain without its weapons.

The kit is very simple consisting of only 3 parts and and a stand. The casting on the hull is very good with various hatches and holes accurately modeled. Since there are no reliable drawings and dimensions on this sub, I didn't compare it to any publicly available drawings, but comparing it to the photos the dimensions look good. There are no periscopes included in the kit, but those are better scratchbuilt anyway from brass rod, so it's not a big loss.

Photoetch only includes two pieces - the forward fins.

Given the simplicity of the kit, the instructions are very good.
This is a very good and timely kit of this submarine. The quality of the kit allows you to build an excellent model without spending a lot of time on scratchbuilding and modifications. Hopefully OKB Grigorov will not stop with just this and will release other Russian/Soviet boomers which are solely underrepresented in the model market.

The kit is available from Pacific Front Models for $36.