The next best Russian submarine eclipses the largest in the American fleet

With Russia’s best and largest nuclear submarine now out of service, the next best option in its submersible fleet still eclipses America’s largest craft in some respects.

After months of speculation, Vladimir Maltsev, head of the Russian Navy Support Movement, confirmed to the Russian press on Monday that the country’s largest nuclear submarine, the Dmitry Donskoy, was officially decommissioned. The craft was the last of Russia’s Cold War-era Typhoon-class submarines, which were recognized as the largest in the world by tonnage.

With the Dmitry Donskoy out of the fleet, the honor of the largest submarine in the Russian fleet now goes to the Belgorodan Oscar II-class submarine introduced in July.

While the Belgorod is not yet fully equipped with nuclear weapons, it is capable of carrying the Poseidon nuclear-capable underwater drones, which the Russian naval forces have presented as a “weapon of the apocalypse”.

Above is a photo of the Russian submarine Dmitry Donskoy. The Typhoon-class submarine was decommissioned recently, making the Belgorod the first submarine in the Russian Navy.
Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images

“This nuclear ‘mega torpedo’ is unique in world history,” US submarine expert HI Sutton wrote in Naval News in March. “Poseidon is an entirely new category of weapons. It will reshape naval planning in Russia and the West, bringing new demands and new counterweapons.”

At just over 603 feet in length, the Belgorod also holds the distinction of the longest submarine in the world, considerably longer than the longest craft in the United States naval fleet. The Ohio-class submarines are the largest ever deployed by the United States and reach approximately 560 feet in length.

A successor to the Ohio class, known as the Columbia class, is currently under development with plans to enter naval service in 2031. These craft will be the lengths of their predecessors, giving Russia Belgorod the benefit of this metric for the foreseeable future.

Without the armaments of Poseidon, the Belgorod remained secondary to nuclear Dmitry Donskoy in the Russian fleet. However, Russian state news agency Tass recently reported that a first batch of armaments has been built and will be shipped soon. Once its nuclear capabilities are realised, the Belgorod will outclass the now decommissioned machine in all its facets.

“The first batch of Poseidon ammunition has been manufactured and will soon be delivered to [the] specialized nuclear submarine Belgorod“, a source told the outlet in mid-January.

The source also said that “various tests of core components of [the] The Poseidon underwater drones, including the nuclear power plant” were complete, according to Tass. Newsweek could not independently verify these claims, nor has the Russian government spoken on the matter.

Newsweek contacted military experts for comment.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button