The Project 09852 special-purpose nuclear-powered submarine Belgorod that will be the first carrier of Poseidon strategic underwater drones was floated out at the Sevmash Shipyard in north Russia on Tuesday, TASS reports from the scene.
Russian President Vladimir Putin watched the submarine’s launch ceremony via a TV link-up
Another source in the defense industry told TASS that the new submarine would be able to carry six strategic underwater drones.
The nuclear-powered submarine Belgorod was initially being built under Project 949A ‘Antey.’ The submarine was laid out at the Sevmash Shipyard on July 24, 1992. On December 20, 2012, it was laid down again under Project 09852. The exact operational characteristics of the special-purpose submarine have been classified and are unknown today. Russia’s Defense Ministry reported in November 2018 that the Belgorod sub’s crew had been formed.
The underwater drone later named Poseidon was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State-of-the-Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018. The Russian leader said that Russia had already developed drones capable of moving at very large depths and to an intercontinental distance at a speed multiply exceeding the speed of submarines, the most advanced torpedoes and all types of surface ships. As the Russian president said, these drones can be armed with conventional or nuclear munitions, which will allow them to strike a broad range of targets. The Poseidon drone will feature an unlimited operating range and an operational depth of over 1 km.
It was indeed a very special Tuesday at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk on Tuesday. One of Russia’s most secret weapons carrier, a 184-meter long nuclear-powered submarine with the project-name 09852 was launched.
The Barents Observer has been allowed to republish photos from the ceremony, taken by local photographer Oleg Kuleshov.
The “Belgorod” (KS-139) is believed to have four to six tubes aimed for the Poseidon nuclear-powered, nuclear armed underwater drone, a weapon that came as a surprise when it first was confirmed in President Putin’s annual State of the Federation speech in March last year.
Today, Putin followed the ceremony via a TV-link from the Severnaya yard in St. Petersburg where he took part in the ceremonial laying of two new frigates for the Russian navy, the “Admiral Amelko” and “Admiral Chichagov”.