Multi-purpose submarine “Belgorod” can carry atomic-powered “Poseidon” torpedoes
The longest submarine in the world, the K-329 Belgorod, was officially handed over to the Russian military on Friday at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk. Russian Navy Commander Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov attended the ceremony and thanked the shipbuilders for delivering the “to research” vessel. The Belgorod, however, is also designed to be able to carry up to six “Poseidon” nuclear-powered torpedoes, which are still under development.
The Belgorod “opens up new opportunities for Russia in conducting various studies, allowing us to conduct a variety of scientific expeditions and rescue operations in the most remote areas of the oceans”, Yevmenov said at the ceremony, thanking both Sevmash, the Rubin design bureau and the entire Russian military industry for the successful construction of the submarine.
The multi-purpose nuclear submarine was previously designated as Project 09852. It is based on the Project 949A series, known in the West as the Oscar Class II, but with significant modifications. The elongated hull allows the Belgorod to carry underwater drones, a deep sea rescue vehicle (DSRV), as well as a smaller nuclear-powered submarine such as the AS-31 Losharik.
While Admiral Yevmenov has chosen to highlight the ship’s scientific and rescue capabilities, Western observers are mainly interested in Belgorodability to carry ‘Poseidons’. The United States Naval Institute dubbed the ship a “doomsday submarine…armed with a strategic nuclear torpedo the size of a school bus”, while defense blog The War Zone called it one of “Russia’s most versatile and feared weapons, designed for espionage and launching nuclear-powered torpedoes.”
Formerly known as “Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System” (after a “accidental” leaked in 2015), the autonomous nuclear-powered torpedo was one of six “super weapons” officially announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018. Still under development, the Poseidon is believed to be designed to be undetectable by conventional means and capable of destroying entire battle groups or causing tsunamis that could destroy coastal cities . A whole new class of submarines, the Khabarovskis allegedly designed to carry the “Poseidons”, but all information about them is classified.
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