Belgorod: a giant submarine for nuclear war

(ORDO NEWS) — The giant Belgorod submarine is designed to launch the Poseidon underwater nuclear-powered drone and can serve as a base for underwater spy platforms, writes Asia Times. In addition, it can become the location of the Losharik submarine.

On July 8, the Russian Navy received the K-329 Belgorod, the longest nuclear submarine in the world, the Sevmash plant said in a statement.

Although the exact characteristics of the Belgorod are not published, the Naval News website suggested that the Belgorod (Project 949A Antey, codified by NATO – Oscar II), with its enlarged hull 178 meters long and 15 meters wide, is inferior in size to only the only one in service boat project 941 “Shark”.

Naval News also notes that the Belgorod certainly exceeds its predecessors in terms of displacement (19,000 tons) – this is more than that of the largest Western Ohio-class submarine.

According to Sevmash, Belgorod is designed to solve scientific problems and conduct search and rescue operations. In addition, it can carry deep-sea rescue vehicles and autonomous underwater drones.

According to Naval News, Belgorod will become the world’s first carrier of the Poseidon nuclear-armed underwater drone, whose nuclear strike on populated areas, large cities and industrial centers near the coast can trigger a devastating radioactive tsunami.

The Warzone reports that in addition to the Poseidon drone, the Belgorod can serve as a base for a number of unmanned spy platforms, as well as for the Losharik .

The source notes the reinforced lower rudders of the Belgorod, which will allow it to lie on the seabed, as well as the ability to launch drones to listen or cut underwater communication cables.

This can “blind” the enemy and cause him serious damage, since 95% of the world’s Internet traffic goes through submarine cables, the think tank of the Atlantic Council notes.

Russian military analyst Alexei Leonov explained the likely role of Belgorod as follows: in his opinion, it is designed to launch the Poseidon drone and will specialize in retaliatory strikes. Leonkov called Belgorod a “weapon of retaliation”: in the event of a large-scale nuclear war, Russia will launch Poseidon drones in response to a first strike using mobile missiles, land-based launchers and land-based and sea-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.

He notes that Poseidon can be used not only for a retaliatory strike, but also against aircraft carrier groups, and Belgorod will deliver it to the launch site.

However, questions remain about Poseidon. In an article in Military Review, Roman Skomorokhov noted that the United States has three versions of this.

First, the US may consider Poseidon a propaganda stunt. He admits that despite all the hype among the US military, it may just be a mock-up, a red herring to intimidate the US public and military planners.

Second, the US may conclude that the Poseidon is more of a research vehicle than a nuclear-armed drone, as Russia claims. And finally, thirdly, the United States may decide that the Poseidon is a real weapon, and begin to develop appropriate means of protection.

At the moment, strategic uncertainty seems to be Poseidon’s trump card. Skomorokhov acknowledges that the creation of such a formidable weapon as Poseidon has its own logic, but notes that the reliability of its existence and capabilities is difficult to verify.

At the same time, he admits that the Poseidon may indeed be a doomsday weapon, or at least create such an appearance in order to prevent an attack on Russia in the first place. Be that as it may, he notes, the conflicting data has certainly baffled US military planners by now.

According to The Barents Observer, Belgorod will begin trial operation in the Northern Fleet and then be transferred to the Pacific Fleet. However, where Belgorod will be based during operation in the Northern Fleet is not disclosed.

The publication suggests two possible locations: Severodvinsk, where the Poseidon drone is being developed, or Deer Bay on the Kola Peninsula, where other Russian special-purpose submarines are based.

According to the US military database ODIN, Poseidon is not one type of device, but a whole family of underwater drones. Some devices can attack coastal targets, while others are designed as supercavitating torpedoes to sink carrier battlegroups. The nuclear variant is armed with a 2-megaton cobalt warhead that can contaminate an area of ​​1,700 kilometers by 300 kilometers—a weapon of last resort.

The same source claims that Poseidon is a robotic submarine with a diameter of 1.6 – 2 meters and a length of 24 meters. Its maximum speed is 100 km/h, its range is 10,000 kilometers, and its maximum diving depth is 1,000 meters. At the same time, the drone can operate at a depth of 50-100 meters in low-speed mode to increase stealth.

It is reported that in low-speed mode, it can approach the target for several weeks, after which it will switch to high-speed mode in the last 2-3 kilometers.

According to the GlobalSecurity website, the Losharik is a non-weapon saboteur submarine. She can dive to a depth of 6,000 meters and is considered the quietest and most silent submarine in the Russian fleet.

It is designed for laying depth charges in hard-to-reach places, for surveillance and surveillance, listening and destruction of submarine cables. In addition to these tasks, she can explore the seabed, raise the remains of secret equipment from the bottom and conduct special operations.

Since Losharik is a highly classified project, its specific dimensions are unknown. Its approximate length is estimated at 69-79 meters, width – at seven, and the estimated displacement – at 2000 tons. “Losharik” is equipped with a nuclear power plant, has a maximum speed of 55 km / h and accommodates a crew of 25 people.

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