UK-based Navy Lookout magazine has shared artist’s rendering of secret Russian special mission submarine.
A series of renders showing an adapted Oscar class SSGN special-purpose boat, commonly known as Belgorod (Project 09852), designed to be ‘mother’ to the Losharik deep-diving midget submarine.
Data on the submarine’s current technical characteristics are classified as of today.
According to open sources, intended for special missions, the Belgorod is based within the 29th autonomous division of the North fleet and reporting directly to the Russian Defense Ministry, but not to the Russian Navy.
The design of the submarine was upgraded to carry mini-submarines, including Losharik (Project 10831) submarine and transport portable nuclear reactors (on the rear casing) to provide power for underwater sensor arrays. The forward section of Belgorod has also been adapted to launch giant Poseidon (previously known by Russian codename Status-6) oceanic multipurpose system underwater drone and armed torpedos.
As to Losharik, this is a Russian deep-diving nuclear-powered submarine The pressure hull is made up of seven spheres that can resist great pressure and she can dive to depths down to at least 2,000m. She is equipped with robot arms to carry out work and skids for resting on the sea bed. She is nuclear powered but limited facilities for the crew restricts her endurance and she is transported to the site of operations by a host submarine.
It’s also important to note that 14 seamen died onboard in a battery compartment fire off the coast of Norway in July 2019. In addition, the Russian Defense Minister disclosed that a civilian expert from the country’s state-run defense industrial complex had been on the submarine at the time of the accident. This might point to Losharik being involved in a test of new equipment during the mishap.
Losharik was reportedly attached to its mothership when the fire broke out or its crew got the sub back to its mothership just before the fire overwhelmed them, with the civilian being saved.