Russia has unveiled a new monster submarine. The K-560 Severodvinsk underwent her flag-raising ceremony earlier this week in Severodvinsk, the city she was named after, after undergoing almost three years of sea trials. She'll move to her new home in the Northern Fleet by the end of the year and will be, says Admiral Chirkov, the first of as many of six similar vessels. "We will build as many as we need to defend the motherland," he told Severodvinsk crew members at the ceremony, which marked the submarine's acceptance by the Russian navy, on Tuesday.
At 393 foot long and with a top speed of around 35 knots, the new sub is a Yasen-class nuclear vessel but with a sophisticated new sonar system that takes up almost the entire bow space. Sophisticated or not, it's still no match for this experimental piece of tech. She can dive to 600 meters, and within her low-magnetic steel hull is a sophisticated new-generation nuclear reactor.
Her armory includes torpedoes, two different types of cruise missile, a surface-to-air missile, and the 90 crew members will also have the wherewithal to operate drones, or "military robots", as they were described. Of those 90 crew, 32 of them will be officers, which suggest that the military tech on board is pretty high-falutin' stuff. The Severodvinsk will also carry mines, which are expected to be more sophisticated than these Soviet-era versions, now converted into furniture.
Russia is expected to build another five of these subs, but its underwater firepower will still be dwarfed by that of the U.S., which currently has 21 Virginia-class subs in commission, with another five expected to be built in the coming years. But Russian subs aren't all bad. During the catastrophic BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, a sub called the Mir-2 was sent down to explore the leak from the Deepwater Horizon platform. Its 6,000-meter diving capabilities make those of the Severodvinsk appear pretty mundane.