Russia’s ‘nuclear torpedo’ could spark a new cold war at sea

According to CNN sources, the Sevmash shipyard in the northern Russian port of Severodvinsk delivered the Belgorod submarine to the navy earlier this month.

Ceremony for the Transfer of Belgorod Submarines. Image: Sevmash

Belgorod, according to experts, is an improved Oscar II submarine outfitted with large-caliber cruise missiles (SSGN). Belgorod is unique in that it has stealthy torpedoes, devices for gathering intelligence, and the “most powerful” nuclear weapons in the world.

A nuclear submarine is being launched from Belgorod. Ria Novosti, in picture

Belgorod, which measures 184 meters, is thought to be the world’s longest submarine, surpassing the US Navy’s Ohio-class submarine in length (171m). The Belgorod was supposed to be delivered to the Russian navy in 2020 after being built and tested in 2019, however, the Covid-19 epidemic caused a delay.

On CNN, experts warned that if Belgorod were to join the Russian navy and engage the US Navy fleet, it might spark a “new Cold War” at sea.

Poseidon’s underwater nuclear drone is simulated. Russian Ministry of Defense image

The Poseidon unmanned underwater attack system, which can launch hundreds of kilometres and circumvent coastal defences by travelling over the seabed, was also confirmed by Tass to be possessed by Belgorod. According to American submarine expert HI Sutton, this “super-large torpedo” is unlike anything else in global history.

Russian Ministry of Defense image

According to CRS, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the Poseidon torpedo in 2018. “Poseidon can confront parts of the carrier strike group and coastal defences,” Putin stated. It is “silent, extremely nimble, and has essentially no flaws for the opponent to exploit.”

Whether this weapon will be added to Russia’s arsenal is still up for debate. Because, according to Hans Kristensen, project manager for nuclear information at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), “torpedoes and comparable platforms are still a technology in development.”

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