The addition of tubes for hypersonic missiles aboard the Husky-class submarines would, if true, come as no surprise. In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin demonstrated an affinity for hypersonic weapons as a means to counter current and future American missile defenses. It seems Russia, with its skill in missile design, is pursuing hypersonic technology as an offset.
Naval rearmament has been a key focus of Russian military rearmament for the past decade, with a strong emphasis on rejuvenating the aging nuclear submarine fleet. These efforts have so far focused on completing construction of the Borei-class ballistic missile submarines and Yasen-class multipurpose submarines.
Four Borei-class submarines have been completed, with four more on the way.
Two Yasen-class boats have also been launched, and five more are under construction. Construction of the lead boat in the Husky class, according to TASS, is expected to begin in 2023 in Severodvinsk and be completed by the end of 2027. This is likely an optimistic target.