The laying down of the keel of fourth submarine of the Project 955 class, Svyatitel Nikolay, has been postponed again, this time quietly. Initially, the construction was supposed to begin in December 2009, but after another failure of the Bulava missile, this date was moved to "the first quarter of 2010". Reports at the time indicated that the Day of the Submarine Fleet was chosen as the new date. That day was March 19 and there was no word of the new submarine.

I would guess that the construction is unlikely to begin for some time, probably until after the Bulava missile proves that it can fly. The Navy said that the Bulava flight tests will resume in late June, so that's probably a new goal. The Navy, however, are not ready to scale down the Project 955 construction plans yet - according to the State Armament Program, eight submarines of this class will be built by 2015. I would seriously doubt that, but it is clear that if the plans change that will be done quietly again.

Meanwhile, overhaul of the Project 667BDRM submarines continue - K-407 Novomoskovsk will be returned to the sea (but not yet to service) in November 2010 (it has been in overhaul since November 2008).