Russia launched their newest nuclear submarine, Belgorod. The ship is the longest submarine in the world with a length of 184 meters. This submarine was built by Sevmash. Belgorod was handed over to the Russian Navy earlier this month in the port of Severodvinsk.
The Belgorod was actually launched in 2019 and is expected to be delivered to the Russian Navy in 2020 after trials and testing. However, it was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Here are some facts about Belgorod:
The World’s Longest Submarine
Belgorod has a length of 184 meters and is the longest submarine in the world. Experts say the Belgorod design is a modified version of Russia’s Oscar II-class missile submarine. The difference is, the Belgorod was made longer in order to accommodate the world’s first nuclear-armed stealth torpedo and intelligence equipment.
Used for Research
Belgorod is referred to as a research submarine. However, various parties say the submarine can also be a medium for espionage. Belgorod is also likely to operate as an intelligence gathering platform.
In a news release earlier this month, the Russian shipbuilder highlighted the Belgorod’s non-lethal capabilities. They say it opens up new opportunities for Russia to conduct scientific expeditions and rescue operations in the most remote areas of the world’s oceans.
Transport Nuclear Capable Torpedoes
In addition to research, Belgorod is said to be carrying the Poseidon nuclear-capable torpedo which is being developed. Although it is claimed to only be able to carry six torpedoes, experts believe the Belgorod can carry eight Poseidon torpedoes.
The torpedo was designed to be launched from hundreds of miles away and sneak past coastal defenses by traveling along the ocean floor. “This nuclear ‘mega torpedo’ is unique in world history,” wrote American submarine expert H. I. Sutton on the Covert Shores website.
He said the Poseidon is a completely new category of weapons. “This will reshape naval planning in Russia and the West, leading to new requirements and new retaliatory weapons,” Sutton continued.
US and Russian officials say the torpedo can deliver a warhead of several megatons, causing radioactive waves that would render swathes of the target’s coastline uninhabitable for decades.
Sutton said the Poseidon, estimated to be 2 meters in diameter and more than 20 meters long, was the largest torpedo ever developed in any country. “That’s thirty times the size of a regular ‘heavyweight’ torpedo,” said Sutton.
Able to Survive 120 Days in Water
Reporting from Military Factory, the Belgorod can last up to 120 days, depending on storage and food supplies on board. With twin nuclear reactors, this submarine has an unlimited range. In addition, its maximum speed at sea can reach 32 knots.
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