World’s longest nuclear submarine Belgorod begins its first sea trials

Russia tested ‘Belgorod,’ its new giant special-purpose nuclear-powered submarine, in open water for the first time. It was piloted in the White Sea over the weekend.

Officially known as Project-09852, the 184 meters (604 feet) submarine is believed to be the largest submarine developed anywhere in the world in 30 years. It displaces more water than a World War I battleship and can dive to a depth of 1,700 feet.

Once approved for use, the ship will be capable of launching the Poseidon nuclear-armed unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). This UUV reportedly has a range of 5,200 nautical miles (10,000 km) and a submersion depth of 1,000 meters. “Poseidon” will be able to reach an underwater speed of a whopping 108 knots (200 km/h) and hit a variety of targets, including aircraft carrier groups and coastal fortifications. The robots will enter service with the Russian fleet until 2027.

The submarine will also act as an aircraft carrier for smaller submarines and live deep with robotic arms that can damage or even cut vital cables lying on the seabed.

Belgorod AKA Project 09852
Belgorod, AKA Project 09852. H.I. SUTTON

Until now, the specifications of the Belgorod are unknown. However, the submarine is undergoing factory tests and will be handed over to the Russian government towards the end of 2021.

State trials will begin once the manufacturer’s trials are completed. The nuclear submarine should be handed over to the customer at the end of 2021, as planned.

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