The VERY sinister submarine by Vladimir Putin: the latest destructive weapon in the Russian leader's arsenal is teeming with deep-sea spies, drones and nuclear weapons capable of defeating an entire city
- Russian President Vladamir Putin will unveil & # 39; the world's longest submarine
- The Belgorod submarine is expected to operate in the Arctic and North Atlantic
- The 604ft sub is expected to be equipped with a maximum of six nuclear-armed torpedoes
Full of nuclear firepower and able to leave an aircraft carrier or even an entire city, this is the newest destructive weapon in Vladimir Putin's arsenal – the world's longest submarine.
To be launched tomorrow by the Russian president, the 604ft Belgorod is expected to be equipped with up to six nuclear-armed torpedoes, each capable of carrying nuclear warheads with an explosive force of two megatons – equivalent to two million tons of TNT, or more than 130 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb.
Experts fear that the 79ft-long torpedoes – called Poseidon or Kanyon – could explode under water to cause a radioactive tsunami and threaten coastal towns with waves up to 300 meters.
In what is considered a sinister development, the submarine commanders will report directly to President Putin instead of the country's navy blue, making Belgorod more like a deep-sea intelligence agency than a conventional submarine [File photo]
And there may be no defense for the new British aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales – the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy – against the nuclear torpedoes, which have a top speed of 70 knots and a range of thousands of miles.
The Belgorod leaves tomorrow from Severodvinsk on the Russian polar coast. It contains eight unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV & # 39; s) that can sail for miles under the waves to map the ocean floor using a sonar imaging system called side-scanning, but can also be used to undersea power and internet cables sabotage.
The giant sub also has a 180-meter mini submarine moored underneath. The 25-man vehicle can be used for investigation, rescue and special military operations.
The Belgorod is expected to operate in the Arctic and North Atlantic – areas where the activity of Russian submarines has increased tenfold in recent years
In what is considered a sinister development, the submarine commanders will report directly to President Putin instead of the country's navy blue, making Belgorod more like a deep-sea intelligence agency than a conventional submarine.
Dr. Sidharth Kaushal, of the Royal United Services Institute, told The Mail on Sunday that he believed that the UUV & # 39; s fleet could be of strategic value to Putin.
Dr. Kaushal said: & # 39; The Belgorod is large enough to act as a mother ship for a unique series of smaller ships with deep diving capabilities and the ability to tamper with undersea infrastructure.
It is therefore well equipped for sabotage and clandestine operations. His nuclear torpedoes from Poseidon can also be a very effective means of attacking an aircraft carrier in wartime – against which there is currently no defense.
& # 39; The Belgorod itself will not be part of the Russian navy, which means that its secret and aggressive actions can in fact be denied. The submarine appears to have been set up for non-attributable war forces for special forces, with the commanders responding directly to the [political] leadership and bypassing the Russian naval command structure. & # 39;
The Belgorod is expected to operate in the Arctic and North Atlantic – areas where Russian submarine activity has increased tenfold in recent years. There is also a huge increase in Russian approaches to British territorial waters.
In 2010 the Royal Dutch Navy had to respond to only one break-in, but in 2017 33 individual incidents needed a response from British ships or submarines.
The Navy is developing its own UUV & # 39; s fleet, but they are not expected to be employed for another eight years, according to sources.
And there may be no defense for the new British aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth (above) and HMS Prince of Wales – the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy – against the nuclear torpedoes, which have a top speed of 70 knots and have a range of thousands of miles [File photo]