The whereabouts of a new Russian submarine, the Belgorod, has captured headlines around the world. With a degree of hysteria, there have been reports that it has been deployed with its nuclear ‘apocalypse’ and ‘doomsday’ weapons. Even that it has ‘disappeared’ (submarines do that).
Naval News has been keeping an eye on the topic since before these stories broke. We can offer fresh information about her activities.
Images obtained by Naval News show the submarine operating in the Barents Sea, north of Russia’s Kola Peninsular.
The Belgorod (K-329) is a unique submarine. She is around 178 meters (583 ft) long, 15 meters (50 ft) wide and in the region of 30,000 tons. This makes it by far the largest built anywhere in the world since the famous Typhoon class. She is armed with the Poseidon strategic weapon which itself is unique.
Described by the U.S. Navy as an ‘Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo’, it combines incredible range with hard-to-kill performance. There is a concern that, with current weapons, it is effectively unstoppable once launched.
Launched in 2019, Belgorod was formally commissioned on July 8 2022, so this is one of her first longer-range trips. But she is still very close to home, in the Russian Navy’s back yard.
We noted the submarine leaving Severodvinsk in the White Sea a few weeks ago, and she was in the Barents Sea by September 22. She was still there on September 27. On both dates she was observed on the surface. This is not unusual for new submarines like this.