The Ukrainian Navy recently completed refurbishment and reactivation of its only submarine, the Foxtrot-class boat Zaporizhzhya. Built in St. Petersburg, Russia, the 42-year-old submarine originally was transferred to the Ukraine in 1997. Since then she has completed several minor refits, but despite the repairs has remained pier-side for years. Having again fallen into a state of disrepair due to budget shortages, the boat began a full refurbishment around 2008 that recently has been completed. The Zaporizhzhya, pictured here at the start of her overhaul, reportedly completed the first set of sea trials successfully on 27 April; more tests presumably will follow. While the Cold War–era submarine remains only marginally useful from an operational perspective, she may help familiarize and prepare a new generation of Ukrainian submariners if a more modern boat is acquired in the future.
By Eric Wertheim