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The submarine Belgorod, which may be armed with Russia’s much-anticipated nuclear drone Poseidon, will be one of four nuclear-propelled ships which the producer plans to hand over to the Russian military in 2020.
The Oscar-class nuclear-propelled submarine ‘Belgorod’ was modified “for special purposes” and widely believed to be the intended carrier of the Poseidon weapon system. The large long-range robotic nuclear vehicle is part of Russia’s effort to counter the US development of anti-ballistic missile technologies and is currently undergoing trials. The 184-meter long submarine will reportedly be able to carry as many as four Poseidon drones and is one of two vessels designated for the purpose.
The head of Sevmash, the Russian producer of nuclear-powered submarines, confirmed that the ‘Belgorod’ will be handed over to the Defense Ministry next year. She was floated in April and will be one of four nuclear ships scheduled to move into the hands of the military in 2020, Mikhail Budchenko told TASS.
The three others are the Borei-class nuclear missile submarine ‘Knyaz Oleg’ and the second and third Yasen-class cruise missile submarines, the ‘Kazan’ and the ‘Novosibirsk.’ The latter is to be launched for sea trials soon, according to the official. Another Sevmash ship, the Borei-class ‘Knyaz Vladimir’ is scheduled to be commissioned before the year’s end.
Next year promises to be bountiful for the Russian navy in terms of new submarines. It will also be getting two diesel-electric submarines in 2020, the ‘Volhov,’ the latest variant of the Kilo class, and the Lada-class submarine ‘Kronshtadt.’