The world’s longest submarine has recently been acquired by the Russian Navy, raising fears across the West regarding the warring nation’s latest weapons capability.
The ultra-long submarine is called the Belgorod, clocking in at over 608 feet long.
The creator of the Belgorod insists that the submarine will be used for research purposes, though others claim that the research vessel could be used for espionage purposes. Others suggest that even nuclear weapons could come into play on the new submarine.
The design of the Belgorod is based upon the nation’s Oscar II class guided missile submarines, and it was made longer in order to accommodate equipment designed for intelligence gathering purposes.
In addition, the Belgorod also has room for the world’s first stealth torpedoes, which are armed with nuclear weapons.
Given the new additions present on the Belgorod, the Russian Navy may be inviting conditions for U.S. and Russian submarines to track and hunt one another, as they did throughout the Cold War.
The Belgorod is expected to carry nuclear-capable torpedoes on the Poseidon, and these torpedoes can technically be launched from multiple hundreds of miles away. Even more troublingly, these torpedoes can travel rapidly along the ocean floor and evade traditional defense systems along the coast.
According to H.I. Sutton, who is an expert on American submarines, the nuclear “mega torpedo” that Russia boasts “is unique in the history of the world.”
“Poseidon is a completely new category of weapon,” Sutton continued, “[and] ot will reshape naval planning in both Russia and the West, leading to new requirements and new counter-weapons.”
According to officials in the United States and Russia, the torpedoes are capable of carrying warheads with multiple megatons, which in turn could cause massive, radioactive waves to hit cities along the coast.
Christopher A. Ford, who previously served as the assistant secretary of state for international security and non-proliferation, declared that such torpedoes may “inundate U.S. coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis.”
In addition to causing massive loss of life, such an attack may leave the targeted coastlines uninhabitable for decades.