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Russian submarine Belgorod (K-329)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

History
Russia
Name: K-329 Belgorod
Builder: Sevmash
Launched: April 23, 2019
Status: Tested at sea
General characteristics
Class and type: Oscar II-class submarine
Type: Special operations and Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System vector
Displacement:
  • 14,700/17,000 tonnes surfaced
  • 24,000/30,000 tonnes submerged
Length: 184 m (603 ft 8 in)
Beam: 15 m (49 ft 3 in)
Installed power: 2 × pressurized water cooled reactors
Propulsion: 2 pressurized water reactor OK-650M.02 nuclear reactors, 2 × steam turbines delivering 190 MW (250,000 shp) to two shafts
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph) surfaced
Range: Unlimited supposed
Endurance: 120 days
Test depth: 500 to 520 m (1,640 to 1,710 ft) by various estimates
Complement: 110 sub-mariners
Armament: 6 × Poseidon drones
Notes: Home port: Severodvinsk, Russia

The K-329 Belgorod ("Белгород") is a leading Russian nuclear submarine cruiser. It has already been tested at sea with a specially trained crew and its active commissioning would be expected towards the end of the year 2021, or perhaps later.[1][2]

This strategic submarine is attached to the Oscar II class (NATO designation) and is one of the very recent weapons systems presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual speech on March 1, 2018.

Intended for special missions, the K-329 Belgorod is based within the 29th autonomous division of the North fleet, thus, its operational capacities confine it to the almost exclusive service of the Direction of Deep Diving of the Department of Defense (GUGI)[3][4][5][6] reporting directly to the Russian Defense Ministry, but not to the Russian Navy.

Historical

The history of the Belgorod, from the start of the construction site to its launching, followed a course more than chaotic throughout twenty-seven long years, thus illustrating all the difficulties of recovery of the Russian naval military forces after the collapse of the Soviet union.

Construction

The construction of this nuclear submarine cruiser began in July 1992 in the yards of the shipbuilder Sevmash, in the port city of Severodvinsk. The initial tactical number was assigned as K-139, and remained so for many years before being changed to K-329. The name was assigned in 1993: the "Belgorod" ("Белгород").

In 1995, crew training began at the Obninsk training center, but in 1997, construction was put on hold while the submarine was three-quarters constructed, mainly for financial reasons. On January 22, 1998, the crew was dissolved.

In September 2000 - one month after the tragic event on the Russian nuclear submarine cruiser Kursk - it was finally decided to resume construction in the form of the improved 949AM project, but the question of funding remained fragile.

Another reversal of the situation occurred in July 2006, when the submarine had reached 85% of operational availability, and the military department refused to provide the credits necessary for the continuation of the site. The Department of Defense then considered other options for the completion of the shipyard, including completing and supplying the nuclear submarine cruiser for the Indian Navy, which would finance the completion of the project.

The last freeze on the construction work was officially announced on June 26, 2009. But a final reversal occurred on February 10, 2012 with the decision to complete the construction of a multipurpose nuclear submarine intended for special operations (in particular in connection with the 09852 project):[7] indeed, one of the options of the K-329 is to become the first vector of the new Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System underwater drone (Статус-6 Посейдон, named "Kanyon" by CIA). Among the other special options will be facilities allowing the reception of smaller submarine for interventions in deep waters.

Between 2013 and 2018, the construction of the K-329 was completed. The press service of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced on November 21, 2018 that the crew was trained and fully operational.

The K-329 Belgorod was officially launched on April 23, 2019, during a ceremony at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk.[8][9] By June 2020, one source reported it "in service",[10] though this appears to have been inaccurate. Others suggested it was still fitting out (possibly including sea trials).[11] In January 2021, the director-general of the Russian Shipbuilder Sevmash, Mikhail Budnichenko, stated that 'tests' on Belgorod were proceeding.[12][13]

In February 2021, the submarine was being prepared for the trials of the Poseidon.[14]

Characteristics

The precise operational characteristics of the K-329 Belgorod are classified and therefore officially unknown to date.[15]

Those presented below are therefore provisional and subject to correction (in terms of size, the K-329 - built on a very modified base of a classic Oscar II class submarine - is about ten meters longer than the Typhoon-class submarine, but narrower.)

Displacement: greater than 14,700 tonnes surfaced (est. 17,000 tonnes), 24,000 tonnes submerged (estimated 30,000 tonnes)

Length: ~ 184 meters

Beam: ~ 15 meters

Speed: <32 knots

Range: Unlimited supposed

Endurance: Approximately 4 months

Operating depth: Estimated as 500–520 meters per OSCAR-II SSGN

Propulsion: nuclear (2 x pressurized water reactor OK-650M.02 with a capacity of 190 MW driving two steam turbines and twin screws. Plus at least two outboard thrusters.

[note: its two new generation propellers ensure optimal stealth in the operating area].

Crew: TBC. estimated 110

Armament: 6 x Poseidon (KANYON) nuclear torpedoes , 6 x 533 mm (21") torpedo tubes (tbc)

Among the major modifications made to this submarine K-329, the tube compartment dedicated to the launch of cruise missiles has been eliminated in order to make room for a receptacle capable of accommodating mini-submarines and underwater drones (UUV dedicated to special operations such as the AS-12 Russian submarine Losharik (project 10831) or the AS-21, AS-23 and AS-35 Paltus (project 1851). Those devices options enabling intelligence and intervention operations out on the seabed.

The incapacitation of Losharik after a major fire in 2019 may have delayed the assumption of Belgorod's full special operations role. At the same time, some sources suggest that the full entry into service of Poseidon may not occur on the submarine until around 2027.[11]

Strategic aims

Nuclear strikes

The K-329 submarine and the Status-6 Poseidon drone are jointly part of the new weapons systems designed by Russia to respond - among other things - to the United States's new nuclear capabilities, in the context of the abandonment of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between these two countries.

Special missions and intelligence operations

Its destination for special operations means that its capabilities have been adapted to many types of missions with strategic aims. This nuclear submarine cruiser is therefore designed for adaptability, the ability to use and deliver different types of weapons or other suitable material with the assigned intelligence objective (installation actions, delicate clandestine operations).

Among these strategic aims, the desire to set up and exploit the Arctic shelf is one of the major Geostrategy objectives in the short to medium term,[16][17] this for energy issues, various surveys, or even control of maritime flows called to recompose with the melting of arctic ice. The K-329 Belgorod, a top-class submarine vessel, thus appears to be ideal for helping the Russian government to fulfill its claims on the Arctic marine space through intelligence operations and discreet and/or destructive actions in deep waters.[18]

An illustration can be established through a new project to modernize and deploy a network of sonar listening stations, positioned on the Arctic seabed (code name Harmony : Гармония).[15]

Another illustration can be noted, through the various concerns that appeared among high-ranking members of the Pentagon as well as of the NATO staff between the end of 2015 and the end of 2017, concerning the Russian plans for undersea cables for telecommunications. Indeed, an unconventional war (which can be expressed through intelligence gathering or discrete sabotage operations) can be envisaged on these very poorly protected infrastructures in the context of exacerbated tensions or even open conflict.[19][20][21][22][23]

A vector such as the K-329 submarine Belgorod is one of the essential elements if such unconventional operations were actually envisaged.

Operational strategic analysis

It is notable that this nuclear weapon system with two nuclear weapons delivery components (alliance between this new K-329 Belgorod submarine and the Status-6 Poseidon drone) makes it possible to considerably amplify the advantages of the underwater delivery of nuclear weapons.

Indeed, the stealth of the initial nuclear weapons delivery (the submarine) is of course preserved, but it is supplemented by a second nuclear weapons delivery operated remotely (the drone) allowing to amply compensate for the drawbacks inherent in the underwater nuclear weapons delivery process, namely programming delicate objectives and limited powers and ranges.

Currently, the potential rivals of Russia would therefore find themselves - in the light of the state of official knowledge of operational weapon systems - in a disadvantaged position, since an operational and efficient defense system capable of countering this new type of exclusively submarine delivery of the thermonuclear weapon has not been designed yet.

To this first component of the K-329 Belgorod as a vector of weapons, is added that of a vector of specialized teams in deep waters. This submarine could thus become one of the russian major components within the framework of actions carried out on more or less large scales on submarine telecom systems, that within the framework of military action on cyberspace.[24][25]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Russia launches the world's longest nuclear submarine". www.bellona.org (published 2019-05-19). 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  2. ^ TASS Russian news agency (2021-01-11). "Eight surface combatants and two submarines were delivered to Russian Navy in 2020". www.navalnews.com. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  3. ^ Abramowicz, Victor (2018-06-21). "Moscow's other navy". www.lowyinstitute.org. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  4. ^ "You Need to Know About Russia's Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research (GUGI)". www.lynceans.org (published 2018-05-21). 21 May 2018. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  5. ^ "Russia Military Analysis". www.russianmilitaryanalysis.wordpress.com (published 2019-07-03). 13 July 2019. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  6. ^ "Les troupes des abysses". www.rusnavyintelligence.com (in French) (published 2018-04-13). 13 April 2018. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  7. ^ "Russia launched a Project 09852 Belgorod submarine". www.navyrecognition.com (published 2019-04-24). 24 April 2019. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  8. ^ Mizokami, Kyle (2019-04-24). "Russia Launches Belgorod, the World's Longest Submarine". www.popularmechanics.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  9. ^ "К-329, "Белгород", проект 949А, 949АМ, 09852 (K-329, Belgorod, projet 949A, 949AM, 09852)". www.deepstorm.ru (in Russian). 2019. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  10. ^ Larson, Caleb (2020-06-04). "Belogorod: The Russian Submarine That Keeps the World Guessing". www.nationalinterest.org. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  11. ^ a b Sutton, H I (2020-06-06). "Losharik Spy Submarine Accident Is Still A Problem For Russian Navy". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  12. ^ Larson, Caleb (2021-01-13). "Sevmash General Director Updates Belgorod Trials". www.seawaves.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  13. ^ Unknown (2021-02-19). "Russia continues building Belgorod submarine". www.navyrecognition.com. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  14. ^ http://bastion-karpenko.ru/
  15. ^ a b "H I Sutton - Covert Shores". www.hisutton.com. 2019-10-18. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  16. ^ Laruelle M (2020-03-01). "Russia's Arctic Policy" (PDF). www.ifri.org. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  17. ^ Unknown (2020-06-10). "America and Britain play cold-war games with Russia in the Arctic". www.economist.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  18. ^ Unknown (2020-05-26). "The Game of Chicken in the Melting Arctic". www.law-in-action.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  19. ^ Sanger, David E.; Schmitt, Eric (2015-10-25). "Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  20. ^ Lacroix F, Button R, Wise J, Johnson S (2018-09-03). "The Threat and Vulnerabilitiesof Submarine Cables in Information Security and Telecommunication" (PDF). www.infonomics-society.org. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  21. ^ Schreck, Carl (2018-06-12). "How Vulnerable Are Undersea Cables That U.S. Says Russia Is Tracking?". www.rferl.org. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  22. ^ Matsakis, Louise (2018-05-01). "What Would Really Happen If Russia Attacked Undersea Internet Cables". www.wired.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  23. ^ Kiger, Patrick J. (2018-01-04). "Could an Attack on Undersea Cables Take Down the Internet?". www.computer.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  24. ^ Sutton, H I (2020-08-19). "How Russian Spy Submarines Can Interfere With Undersea Internet Cables". www.forbes.com. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  25. ^ Nicholls, Dominic (2020-08-21). "Defence review to prioritise protecting undersea cables from Russian spy submarines". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-01-13.

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This page was last edited on 24 February 2021, at 18:29
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