Belgorod: Russia's super-submarine update
On July 26, Russia's Navy Day, President Putin stated that the RuN will receive "underwater nuclear drones" (Reuters). This is a clear reference to the Poseidon Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo. The first submarine to carry Poseidon will be the Project 09852 Belgorod (K-329) («Белгород»).
Separately, Russian media has stated that testing of Belgorod is already underway. And that testing of the weapon is almost complete. There is some doubt to this however, at least in a literal translation. As of July 28 Belgorod was still moored in Severovinsk exactly where she has been since being floated in April 2019. However, the news may indicate that sea trials are about to begin.
There are four submarines in this image. Belgorod is highlighted:
We may soon know more details about this submarine. Photographs of her underway or on trials could shed further light on her exact configuration.
My expectation is that testing will take longer than planned. This is due to the unavailability of the Losharik midget submarine which Belgorod is also designed to host. This suffered a serious fire incident on July 1 2019, and is likely still awaiting full repairs.
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