The Poseidon is a new intercontinental nuclear-powered and armed autonomous torpedo with a length estimated to be in excess of 20 meters in length with great endurance and range.
For the record, the keel laying ceremony of the Belgorod “nuclear-powered special-purpose and research submarine” (its official designation…) was held on December 20, 2012. Project 09852 was developed by Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering (St. Petersburg) from a Project 949A design. The Belgorod’s original hull (as an Oscar-class submarine) was laid down on July 24, 1992. Its construction as an SSGN stopped in 2006 with a completion of about 76%. Since 2012, Belgorod has been modified and completed as a the Project 09852, a large nuclear-powered submarine capable to act as mothership for manned and unmanned underwater vehicles. The official customer is the General Directorate of Deep-Water Research (GUGI) of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin witnessed the ceremony from St. Petersburg via live cast. In Severodvinsk, Vice-Admiral Andrei Volozhinsky, Chief of the Russian Navy, the head of the Directorate of Deep-Water Research (GUGI) of the Russian Defense Ministry Vice-Admiral Alexey Burilichev and Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region Igor Orlov took part in the ceremony.
According to our colleagues at Covert Shores, Belgorod is a massive submarine, second only to the famous TYPHOON Class SSBN. She is a stretched OSCAR-II Class boat modified to carry both nuclear powered deep diving ‘special mission’ submersibles and the new Poseidon Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo (2м39 ‘Poseidon’ (Посейдон) / ‘Status-6’ (Статус-6 / ‘Skif’ (Скиф) seabed launched variant / NATO: KANYON). You can read more about their analysis of the launch at this link.
The Belgorod is expeted to start sea trials in 2020, after which it should be delivered to the Navy by the end of that year or early 2021.