The Sevmash Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) has delivered the Project 09852 nuclear submarine Belgorod able to carry Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drones to the Russian Navy, at the shipyard’s facilities on July 08, 2022. The K-329 Belgorod, along with the Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System, was one of the last weapons systems presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual speech on March 1, 2018. It tested at sea in 1H2022 and was commissioned by the Russian Navy in July 2022. The submarine was delivered to the Russian Navy on 8 July 2022. The Belgorod will reportedly be the first submarine to utilize the Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System.
K-329 Belgorod is a modified design of the Oscar II class (NATO designation) Russian nuclear submarine.The submarine’s construction was originally laid down as a Project 949A cruise missile submarineon July 24, 1992 at the Severodvinsk Shipyard as pennant number 664 of the “Oscar II” class cruise missile submarines, but later was redesigned and partly built hull was used to be reconfigured as a special operations vessel, able to operate unmanned underwater vehicles. The vessel was relaid in December 2012. Due to chronic underfunding, its construction was suspended then resumed at a low rate of progress before the ship was redesigned to become a unique vessel — the first Russian fifth-generation submarine.
In the construction process the original 154-meter long hull was lengthened to 178 meters (which is almost 11 meter more than the Project 941 SSBNs – the world’s largest submarines ever built) with a width of 18,2 meters. In June 2019, US military expert H.I. Sutton published satellite imagery of the Sevmash shipyard, which shows the K-329 “Belgorod” along with K-549 “Knyaz Vladimir” of the Borey project, with the nuclear submarine Belgorod visibly longer and wider. On November 11, 2015, the Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System project was officially revealed to the public. The initial designation of Status-6 has since been changed to Poseidon (Russian weapon systems designation 2M39 and the NATO reporting name Kanyon has been assigned).
The Poseidon type remotely operated underwater vehicle has a 10 000 km range, can dive to a depth of 1 000 meters and is designed to deliver nuclear warheads for the destruction of coastal infrastructure as a second nuclear strike option. The motherships for the Poseidon underwater drones are planned to be the 09852 nuclear submarine “Belgorod” project submarines (like the “Belgorod”) and the 09851 “Khabarovsk” project submarines. The submarines can carry up to six Poseidon vehicles at once and this view is shared by some military experts. The Belgorod type can also operate as the mother ship for a single nuclear-powered mini-submarine of the 18511 project, otherwise known as Paltus type (Project 1851), used for the planting on the seabed of a self-contained mini-nuclear reactor of the ATGU ‘Shelf’ type.