In a statement, Mikhail Budnichenko said the shadowy Belgorod (a modified Oscar II-class) special purpose submarine, as well as Novosibirsk and Knyaz Oleg nuclear submarines, will complete the state trials before the end of this year.
“These ships must go to sea several more times for factory and state trials. As of today, all operations on the submarines are within schedule. The ships perform well and confirm their specifications,” Budnichenko said.
The War Zone previously reported that Sevmash first laid down Belgorod in 1992, less than a year after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It remained there in its unfinished state for nearly a decade. In 2010, Russia reportedly began planning to convert it to a special projects submarine, a process that officially began in 2012. Belgorod’s refit added nearly 100 feet to the boat’s overall length.
The 604-foot-long Belgorod is one of the biggest submarines ever. It was designed to carry as many as six 79-foot-long, nuclear-powered underwater Poseidon drones armed with a huge dirty-bomb warhead.
According to Popular Mechanics, the Poseidon is a very large torpedo, 65 feet long and 6.5 feet in diameter, with a range of thousands of miles and a top speed of 60 knots. Poseidon is believed to carry a 2 megaton thermonuclear warhead and is designed to go around U.S. missile defenses to strike coastal targets, including ports and cities.