Russia growing its nuclear submarine fleet for Ukraine naval battleground

Nuclear submarines are a huge tactical advantage and sharply increase a country’s ability to pose a serious threat.

 A Borei class submarine at sea (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A Borei class submarine at sea
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Russia is set to add another two nuclear submarines to its naval fleet, RIA Novosti, a Russian state media outlet, reported on Monday.

The Russia-Ukraine war just entered its second year on Friday, and it has been estimated that, in that time, hundreds of thousands have been killed. However, despite these losses, the war has no end in sight as both sides seek to bolster their military capabilities. 

The announcement of new nuclear submarines was made by the head of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Alexei Rakhmanov in an interview with RIA Novosti. 

“Sevmash (the USC) will hand over two newest nuclear submarines to the Russian Navy in 2023,” Rakhmanov said in the interview.

He then went on to declare that the shipbuilding company has picked up its pace of manufacturing in order to be able to deliver the submarines to the Russian military this year. 

About the new submarines

The two submarines are the "Krasnoyarsk," a multi-purpose vessel, and the strategic "Emperor Alexander III," Rakhmanov explains.

 A nuclear powered submarine (credit: Wikimedia Commons) A nuclear powered submarine (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The new submarines are part of the “Borei” class of submarines, a series of ballistic missile, nuclear-powered submarines, according to Ria. identifies these vessels as the second largest class of submarine in the world. 

The Russian state news outlet describes them as being “armed with 16 Bulava ballistic missiles” and are meant to be a vital nuclear deterrent.

Tass news, another Russian state news outlet, reported that the "Emperor Alexander III" was first set afloat in late December of last year. They reported it was the "seventh missile-carrying strategic nuclear-powered submarine of the Borei-A class."

Business Insider describes NATO militaries as becoming progressively more worried about Russia's abilities underwater. Reportedly, NATO countries are concerned about Russia’s ability to use its submarine assets posing a threat to military and economic infrastructure.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Dutch intelligence officials were claiming that Russia is eager to map out their North Sea energy infrastructure for purposes of sabotage. An expanded submarine fleet would clearly bolster Russia’s ability to execute such action.

This concern becoming a reality is being taken very seriously. Indeed, Reuters wrote that the Netherlands said it would expel Russian diplomats it accused of spying for Russia under diplomatic cover.