Russia’s Next-Best Submarine Dwarfs Largest in U.S. Fleet

Above, a photo of the Russian submarine Dmitry Donskoy. The Typhoon-class submarine was decommissioned recently, making the Belgorod the premier submarine in Russia’s Navy.OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

With Russia’s best and largest nuclear submarine now out of commission, the next-best option in its submersible fleet still dwarfs the largest U.S. crafts in some regards.

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

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

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

“This nuclear ‘mega torpedo’ is unique in the history of the world,” American submarine expert H.I. Sutton wrote in Naval News in March. “Poseidon is a completely new category of weapon. It will reshape naval planning in both Russia and the West, leading to new requirements and new counter-weapons.”

At a little over 603 feet in length, the Belgorod also holds the distinction of longest submarine in the world, considerably longer than the longest crafts in the U.S. naval fleet. The Ohio-class submarines are the largest ever deployed by the U.S. and reach around 560 feet in length.

A successor to the Ohio class, known as Columbia class, is currently under development with plans to enter naval service in 2031. Those crafts will be the lengths of their predecessors, giving Russia’s Belgorod the edge in that metric for the foreseeable future.



By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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