Large numbers of Borei-class nuclear powered subs have been diving beyond 500m – with operations taking place in the Northern Sea
Russian attack submarines are running “deep penetration” missions unusually far under water, in craft capable of carrying new hypersonic weapons.
Large numbers of Borei-class nuclear powered subs have been diving beyond 500m, the limit for most attack subs, in an apparent bid to enter the Atlantic undetected.
The operations by Vladimir Putin’s Northern Fleet, accompanied by a high number of rescue vessels, have been taking place in the Norwegian Sea, which has depths of up to 4,000m.
The Borei subs are believed to be capable of carrying new Zircon 3M22 hypersonic missiles, which can cover 2.7km per second and against which there is thought to be little or no protection.
Analysts are not clear on why Vladimir Putin’s fleet are carrying out the dives (
The war-gaming, which has raised the possibility that these missiles could be carried at greater depths than previously thought, has alarmed analysts who fear Russia could be escalating preparations for conflict.
A source told the Mirror: “The reason for these extreme depth missions has eluded most analysts but it could be simply to access the Atlantic with stealth.
“There has been an increase in Russian submarine activity of late, as there has with much of Moscow’s armed forces as it tests the resolve of NATO.
“Russia is keen to exert as much power and influence as possible around the globe, in particular for the Northern Fleet, which is integral for passage into the Atlantic.”
Russian subs usually go no deeper than 400m as a working limit, with a 480m maximum and 900m “crush limit” where they would implode.
Military expert Bruce Jones said: “The mood of Russian defence has been alarming for months now.
“That is highlighted by the recent military build-up close to the Ukraine border.
“This latest move could be aimed at posturing up against NATO just to make countries feel nervous.
“But it certainly marks an escalation and now they appear to be turning their sights towards sub-surface missions.”