Still the Strongest In The World, Getting to Know the Russian Submarine Fleet

Still the Strongest In The World, Getting to Know the Russian Submarine Fleet
Russia's Belgorod submarine dubbed "underwater nuclear-powered aircraft carrier"

International Military - The Russian Navy has recently inaugurated a sea test of their newest submarine, the Belgorod. Although Russia is not a country with a large surface ship force, its submarine fleet cannot be underestimated.

Quoted from the World Population Review, Russia is still the largest after the United States. However, this Belgorod submarine is something very special, it is dubbed the “underwater nuclear-powered aircraft carrier”.

Read Also: Equipped with 'Nuclear Power', Russia's K-329 Belgorod Submarine Ready to Carry Poseidon Missiles

Why is that? There are two reasons, first because the Belgorod submarine has a very large body. This submarine weighs 30,000 tons when submerged. It is heavier than the US Navy's Colombia class currently under construction which weighs 21,000 tonnes underwater.

The second reason was because the Belgorod was designed to carry Poseidon torpedoes. What's so special about this torpedo? Quoted from Defense View, Poseidon is a doomsday weapon that has lethal characteristics. The Poseidon nuclear torpedo has the characteristics of long range, high power, high speed and high degree of automation.

With its nuclear propulsion system, the Poseidon can easily hit targets more than 10,000 kilometers away, like an intercontinental ballistic missile. Poseidon's explosive power is very large, in addition to nuclear propulsion, this doomsday torpedo also has a thermonuclear warhead that produces an explosion of 2 million tons of TNT. So, do not be surprised if until now Russia is still a country that has a fleet of deadly submarines.

Read Also: Specifications Of Ohio Class and Columbia Class, The Largest Submarines US Navy That Ever Existed

During its war with Ukraine, Russia has used submarines several times to launch cruise missiles at Kyiv military targets. There are about 60 submarines in the submarine fleet of the Russian Navy which are categorized into three types as follows.

Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN)

Currently, SSBN has 12 submarines consisting of, 1 Delta III, 5 Delta IV, 1 Typhoon class, and 5 new Borei Class submarines. The K-535 Yuriy Dolgorukiy is the flagship of the Borei Class, joining the Russian Navy's Northern Fleet in January 2013.

After that, the Russian Navy operated Alesander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh in the Pacific Fleet. The fourth submarine, Knyaz Vladimir, entered service in June 2020 as part of the Northern Fleet.

The Borei Class submarine has a length of 170 m, a diameter of 13 m, a crew of 107 people, including 55 officers with the ability to dive to a maximum depth of 450 m and a maximum dive speed of 29 knots.

For armament, the Borei Class carries 16 Bulava-M SS-NX-30 intercontinental ballistic missiles, each with 10 nuclear warheads with a range of 8,000 km. Thus, these submarines can operate thousands of kilometers from the coast in any weather conditions.

Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine (SSN)

In contrast to SSBNs, SSN types can be equipped with tactical or low-yield nuclear warhead missiles. In addition to being tasked with detecting, identifying, and destroying enemy submarines and surface ships, the SSN fleet can also carry out strategic attacks against land targets by secretly lurking in coastal areas.

The Russian Navy's SSN fleet currently has 15 submarines consisting of 2 Sierra II, 2 Victor III and 11 of the Akula Class. This class is considered the best, quietest, fastest and most modern stealth submarines serving in the Russian Navy.

Quoted from Defense View, its combat capability is even higher than most modern SSNs belonging to the US Navy. In the future Russian Navy SSN troops will use Yasen submarines.

The Yasen is equipped with an armament of ten torpedo tubes and eight vertical launch systems for 32 Kalibr land attack cruise missiles or 24 P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship missiles.

That's the greatness, this class of submarines has a very large firepower compared to other classes. The Yasen class can strike ground targets with cruise missiles capable of delivering tactical nuclear warheads with a range of about 5,000 km. Overall, the Yasen Class submarines will be truly “stealth” for NATO detection systems.

Electric Diesel Submarine (SSK)

The Russian Navy's SSK fleet consists of 22 submarines, most of them Kilo Class and one Lada Class. As Defense View says, these Kilo Class submarines are renowned for their quiet running ability and high combat power.

Like most submarines in general, the Russian SSK is also equipped with torpedoes and cruise missiles. The most famous ammunition is the VA-111 Shkval Supercavitating torpedo which is capable of traveling at very high speeds (over 200 knots).

Then for cruise missiles, diesel-electric submarines use the 3M-54 Kalibr series with a cruising speed of about 850 km/h and accelerated to Mach 2 in the terminal attack stage. Russia's submarine fleet actually patrols international seas and the technology in it is sought after by other countries to build modern submarines.

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