Belgorod (K-329) is a new Russian Navy nuclear-powered, nuclear-capable submarine belonging to the Project 949A "Antei" class (NATO codename of "Oscar II". The class includes Kursk which was lost in August 2000 with all hand aboard and features several hulls which have already been retired and/or scrapped (K-525, K-206, K-148, K-173). Belgorod followed Kursk in the construction line and marks possibly the last boat to be introduced in the series.
While her hull was originally laid down during July of 1992, the vessel was repurposed for the Special Operations role and reworked beginning in December 2012. She entered sea trials in June of 2021 and is expected to be commissioned during the middle of 2022, set to become part of a new series of strategic-level weapons announced by Russian leadership.
With this change, the boat does not include torpedo armament as her sisters do. Instead, she carries up to six "Poseidon" (NATO: "Kanyon") Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) which were known earlier to the Russians as "Status-6". The drones are nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed and autonomous by design with development undertaken by the Rubin Design Bureau. The system was unveiled as early as 2015 in official sources.
The vessel has a typically tubular hull design with a forward set sail of some length. The sail contains the bridge as well as necessary communications, periscopes, snorkels, and sensor masts. Dive planes are mounted at the hull as opposed to the sail and the tail fins are arranged in typical cross-pattern with an extended vertical surface plane. The propeller units extend some distance aft on the boat's hull.
Internally, there is a crew of 110 broken down into several operating teams. The boat can stay on station / patrol for up to 120 days depending on onboard food storage and supplies. With its twin pressurized nuclear reactors, the vessel has an essentially unlimited range making it an ideal strategic weapon / deterrent. The hull has been tested to 500 meters and submerged, ocean-going speeds reach an impressive 32 knots.
Dimensions include a hull length of 603.7 feet with a beam measuring 49.2 feet.
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