The Russian navy is retiring a ballistic missile submarine that has been providing Russia with nuclear strike capabilities since the Cold War.
Russia's Akula-class nuclear-powered strategic submarine Dmitry Donskoy is being decommissioned this week, the head of the Russian Movement for Navy Support Vladimir Maltsev told TASS state media.
"The Dmitry Donskoy submarine cruiser has been decommissioned from the Russian Navy," he said. "It will await utilization at a naval base in Severodvinsk together with two other units of this project."
The Dmitry Donskoy was laid down by the Sevmash Shipyard in 1976 and launched in 1980 and was once one of the largest submarines in the world according to TASS.
It was named after a historical leader who challenged Mongol authority over Russia in the 1300s, according to The Washington Times.
What is the Dmitry Donskoy submarine?
According to TASS, six of the Akula-class subs were built and sent to be part of the Northern fleet of the Soviet Union. Three of the Akula-class subs were disposed of with US finance support after the Soviet Union collapsed.
They also said that two subs, the Arkhangelsk and the Severstal, have been taken out of service and are also waiting for disposal.
At first, the intercontinental ballistic missiles were the main weapons of the submarine until 2002 when the submarine was upgraded to be tested with the Bulava missile.
The Dmitry Donskoy sailed to the Baltic Fleet in the summer of 2017 to take part in their Navy parade.
Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Russian navy has been facing a lot of different challenges. The Russian warship Moskva, Russia's Black Sea Fleet flagship, sank in April 2022 after it was struck by two R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles, according to The Washington Times.
A total of 18 Russian warships and other vessels have been destroyed by the Ukrainian military since the start of the war in February 2022.
Even though a lot of Ukraine's navy was destroyed or taken in the Russian conquering of Sevastopol in 2014, Ukraine has defied Russian attempts at complete Naval superiority in the Black Sea with the use of anti-ship missiles and naval drones.
Michael Starr contributed to this article.