The Russian Navy’s latest ‘Special Mission’ submarine, K-329 Belgorod, has put to sea for the first time. Open source intelligence seen by Naval News indicates that the submarine left Severodvinsk on June 25 2021. This represents the start of sea trials which are critical to the delivery of the new boat to the Russian Navy.
Although detailed specifications have not been revealed it is clear that Belgorod is the largest submarine to be built for 30 years. In fact the only submarine type which is larger is the Typhoon Class. Her enlarged Oscar-II class submarine hull is estimated to be 178 meters (584 feet) long and about 15 meters (49 feet) across. Her displacement will likely be significantly more than the ~19,000 tons of the Oscar-II class on which she is based. This is bigger in every respect than the largest Western submarine, the U.S. Navy’s Ohio Class.
The submarine was launched in April 23 2019 in Severodvinsk. Since then it has been moored to the quay there being fitted out and system tested. Russian media has reported tests of the new weapon system and also of the reactors. She had been expected to start trials in April, after the arctic ice had receded, but instead was taken back into the sheds. She remerged at the end of May and was identified undergoing degaussing on June 5 – 6. She has now finally sailed.