The ship set out for the White Sea from the Siewmasz shipyard in Sievyrodwinsk on June 25. Local fans of marine technology filmed and recorded it. Then TASS officially confirmed his departure to the sea.
The trials could take several months, although the official date for the handover to the Navy will be “by the end of 2021.” However, these could be just desires. Belgorod is a unique unit with very unusual equipment that can cause many problems during research and testing.
Long history and changing personality متغير
As a rule, Belgorod is a ship of the second class Oscar (according to NATOAccording to the Russians, Project 949A Antej). This is a series of very large multi-purpose nuclear submarines, armed with several long-range missiles designed primarily to attack Western surface ships. The construction of Belgorod began in 1992, but the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent financial problems persisted Russia It caused a suspension of work for many years. Although the ship was pretty much ready (about 80 percent). The decision to end it was only made between 2011 and 2012, but differently. Special.
The ship has been extended from 30 meters to 184 meters, making it the longest submarine ever. Most of the combat equipment was stripped and new special equipment was installed. Details are unknown. However, it is officially known that the ship is intended for the 29th submarine division, which includes special units operated by GUGI (Deep Sea Research Main Directorate). It is a separate formation of the Russian fleet, directly subordinate to the Ministry of Defense. Its main tasks are underwater intelligence and special operations. The crew of the GUGI is small, but it should consist only of experienced officers.
According to Cover Shores blogger hiding under the pseudonym H.I. Sutton, Who knows more than anyone else in the public space about a variety of private submarines, Belgorod has two primary functions. Those mentioned at the beginning. The first and most interesting is the carrying of the six large torpedoes, or rather, the Poseidon submarines. It is one of the Russian “super weapons” that Vladimir Putin himself regularly uses during his various speeches as a threat to the West and as proof of Russia’s power. Each Poseidon will be powered by a small nuclear reactor armed with a thermonuclear warhead.
Large torpedoes are supposed to be unstoppable retaliatory weapons. Sail to large coastal cities or military bases in secret and explode, causing devastating waves and pollution. This type of weapon was designed already in the fifties of the last century in the USSR, but was considered of little practical use and ceased to function. Now, however, they have been revived with the expected entry into service at the end of the decade. The Russians declare that the Poseidon should also be able to attack squadrons of ships, for example those stationed around American nuclear aircraft carriers. But most of all, as Putin himself says, the Kremlin sees insurance in the Poseidon family incident Doomsday. Even if the Americans somehow stopped all the classic Russian missiles, the giant torpedoes are supposed to covertly do their work and hit the largest urban centers on both American shores.
The second main task of Belgorod is less dangerous and will certainly be his main activity. May. It concerns the standard activities of GUGI’s needs, i.e. assembly and commissioning of devices on the sea floor. For example, such as listening stations to detect the presence of enemy ships. The Russians are declaring their readiness to build an entire network of sensors in the Arctic called Harmonia. It is expected to make life more difficult for Western nuclear submarines, which regularly orbit near major Russian fleet bases.
In addition, Belgorod can operate secretly in very distant parts of the oceans. Where Russia may want to place spy devices for a reason. For example, in the submarine fiber optic cables that are the backbone of the global Internet. Such a possibility has been speculated for a long time, although there is no evidence that a country does such a thing. During the Cold War, the Americans succeeded in placing secret listening devices on the cables of Soviet military submarines. Show that it can be done and that it makes sense. The Russians must have learned from this.
Belgorod itself is certainly too big to carry out precise operations on the sea floor. So it was designed as a mother ship for a whole range of smaller units, both manned and unmanned. It should be able to transport a “deep sea nuclear plant” attached to the seabed, that is, a smaller, manned nuclear-powered submarine. Russians have three divided into two types. The first is the 70-meter-long Losharik, which was damaged in 2019 by a fire that killed 14 sailors. However, it must be repaired and prepared to return to service. The second type is two smaller 55-meter Palatus-class ships. All three should be able to work in the depths rzedu kilometers and more.
In addition, on the hills of Belgorod there is a visible pier of a large unmanned underwater vehicle called the Harpsichord. Nothing concrete is known about its capabilities and missions. It is likely that it was used to identify and study the sea floor and the various objects lying on it.
Fragment of the animation showing a Harpsichord drone being launched from the pier on the deck of the Biaogród ship MO’s photo from Russia
H.I. Sutton anticipates that Belgorod could also be used to carry and install many of the proposed large subsea devices on the sea floor. For example, such as the small nuclear power plant Szelf, which would be able to operate, for example, a network of listening stations. They can also be underwater rescue vehicles for other submarine crews that can already perform other tasks in them So far needs.
The Russians have no equal in this
Belgorod is the largest and most complex private submarine. Russians in general have more than anyone else. There are already two other large nuclear submarines in the 29th Division, called Podmoskiewski and Orenburg. Both rebuilt old ballistic missile carriers, to serve as mobile bases for deep-sea nuclear plants. In addition, work is underway on the construction of a whole series of new ships of the Khabarovsk class, referred to as Project 09851, specifically designed only for carrying large Poseidon torpedoes. Naturally, it should be large, although it is smaller than Belgorod. However, the software for their construction is classified and not much is known about it.
No other country invests so much in private nuclear submarines. The Americans, who pioneered underwater espionage and underwater listening networks, severely limited the scale of this type of operation after the Cold War. Officially at least. Currently, their only private submarine is one of three units of the Seawolf class, the USS Jimmy Carter. During construction in the early 1990s, it was decided to modify it by adding a 30-meter hull section, containing a berth for divers and remote-controlled vehicles. Nothing is known about its specific capabilities and tasks. As with the Russians, the Americans also keep it a secret. However, they are expected to be similar.