Russian ‘Doomsday’ submarine armed with nuclear torpedoes ‘disappeared’ from Arctic base

UPDATE, 06/10/22:

Many reports coming out of Europe have warned that the latest Russian nuclear submarine, Belgorod (K-329), disappeared from its White Sea base. Reports also warn that the ship left the area with its “doomsday” weapons on board: 80ft Poseidon nuclear torpedoes, officially known as 2M39 Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System.

According to Italian media, NATO reportedly warned member nations that Russia may be planning a test of the submarine’s nuclear torpedoes, which have unlimited range. They can explode at a depth of one kilometer near a coastal town, triggering a 1,600-foot nuclear tsunami, which would irradiate the target settlement.

Belgorod (K-329) disappeared from its base in the White Sea. (Photo credit: FriskyAnYantos / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

BelgorodThe ship’s location remains unknown as of October 3, 2022, which comes as no surprise to experts, given the ship’s stealth capabilities. According to a report by USNI News, the submarine was last spotted on September 22-27, 2022, near the Kola Peninsula in Russia’s far northwest. Whereas Naval News said she was now in the Barents Sea, Italian media reported she was not far from the area in the Kara Sea.

Asked by USNI on Belgorodof the submarine’s recent movements, the Pentagon did not provide details, but downplayed the sub’s recent operations.

ORIGINAL STORY, 12/07/22:

The Russian Navy ordered a modified version of the Soviet product Oscar IIguided cruise missile submarine. Considered by many to be an advanced “doomsday” vessel, the submarine is capable of launching the Poseidon nuclear torpedo, which is armed with a warhead of up to 100 megatons.

Drawing of Belgorod (K-329)
Drawing of Belgorod (K-329) submarine. (Photo credit: Bairuilong / Wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0)

The submarine was built by Sevmash Shipyard, in the port city of Severodvinsk. Built under project 09852 and designated Belgorod (K-329), the ship is the longest in the world and weighs about 30,000 tons. It was designed to accommodate six Poseidon nuclear torpedoes, which have unlimited range.

The construction of Belgorod was completed in 2019, with the ship rolling out of the shipyard later that year. After undergoing secrecy sea trials Main Directorate of Underwater Researchthe submarine was delivered to the headquarters of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet on July 8, 2022, according to the Russian State News Agency, CASS.

The Main Directorate of Underwater Research, known as Glavnoye Upravleniye Glubokovodnykh Issledovaniy (GUGI) in Russia, operates from a remote base on the Kola Peninsula in the Barents Sea. Belgorod joined the program as part of its 29th Submarine Division.

According A declaration of the head of the Russian Navy Adm. Nikolai Anatolyevich Yevmenov, the ship was built for search and rescue purposes:

“The Belgorod submarine opens up new opportunities for Russia in conducting various research, allows conducting various scientific expeditions and rescue operations in the most remote areas of the world ocean. The ship is designed to solve various scientific problems, conduct search and rescue operations, and can also be used as a deep-sea rescue and unmanned autonomous underwater vehicle carrier.

Despite these claims, Western powers fear Belgorod could be used to sabotage undersea cables. Concerns about a nuclear war have also arisen, following repeated threats from Russian officials over their opposition to the Russo-Ukrainian War.

2M39 Status-6 Ocean Multipurpose System
2M39 Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System “Poseidon” nuclear torpedo. (Photo credit: Russian DoD / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0)

As mentioned above, the submarine was built to carry the 80-foot Poseidon nuclear torpedo, officially known as the 2M39 Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System. Considered both a torpedo and an unmanned vehicle, the Poseidon can be launched against enemy shores, destroying coastal towns with both an explosion and the creation of large tidal waves.

The torpedo, which was first revealed in 2015, also has the ability to devastate coastal areas through “radioactive contamination, rendering them unusable for military, economic or other activity for a long time”, according to a translation of a Russian presentation captured on video by the BBC. This is why Belgorod was presented as an “apocalyptic” ship.

Boats sailing around the Sevmash Shipyard
Ships sail around the Sevmash shipyard, July 2009. (Photo credit: ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/AFP/Getty Images)

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In addition to being equipped with Poseidon nuclear torpedoes, Belgorod will also serve as a mother ship for manned and unmanned underwater vessels.


Claire Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a writer and editor with eight years of online content experience. A graduate of King’s University College at Western University with a Bachelor of Arts, her portfolio includes digital media coverage, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the founder of the True Crime Blog, Unresolved Storieswhich garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views a year, and a contributor for John Lordan’s seriously mysterious podcast. Prior to her hiatus, she was also content manager for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare enjoys playing Pokemon GO and revisiting Heartland over and over (and over again). She will also praise her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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