Russian Northern Fleet Creates Submarine Division for Deep-Water Operations

The Russian Navy Northern fleet created a deep-water division. It comprises small nuclear-powered deep-water stations capable of operating at depths of up to six thousand meters. It also has submarine carriers of the craft and a big number of robotized underwater complexes. The secret formation is subordinated directly to the defense minister, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russian Northern Fleet Creates Submarine Division for Deep Water Operations 1Project 09787 Special-Purpose Submarine BS-64 "Podmoskovye". Picture: Zvezdochka Shipyard

The main Navy command told the newspaper the 29th submarine brigade deployed in Gadzhiyevo in Murmansk region was in January transformed into a fully-fledged division due to the arrival of new hardware. The formation of the 29th brigade began in 1979. It received the first nuclear-powered deep-water-stations in 1981. Open sources said the 29th division currently has Kashalot, Paltus and Kalitka stations. It also operates the nuclear-powered Podmoskovye submarine re-equipped to carry Paltus and other stations.

The 29th submarine brigade developed into a special designation division likely due to the Podmoskovye carrier and an imminent transfer to the fleet of another carrier, the nuclear-powered Belgorod submarine, said veteran submariner Vladimir Ashik. The 29th division has many supply vessels, including two floating docks, floating barracks for crews, a charging station. They make a full division by the number of personnel.
"Only this division has experts and equipment capable of testing new underwater weapons which the president announced. One of the missions of the 29th submarine division is to find and surface experimental hardware after trials, as well as missile debris after launches. All potential adversaries are actively searching for the remnants of our weapons to study them. There is a lot of work and new submarines are very necessary," he said.

Russian Northern Fleet Creates Submarine Division for Deep Water Operations 2Project 09787 Special-Purpose Submarine BS-64 "Podmoskovye". Picture: Zvezdochka Shipyard

Expert Dmitry Kornev also believes the 29th division will soon receive new submarines and warships. "It will have two or three carriers. At present the Podmoskovye is operational. The Belgorod is to be commissioned in 2018-2019. The Orenburg has not been scrapped and can be overhauled for new operations," he said.

The fleet of nuclear-powered deep-water stations is overhauled and upgraded. It complies with the program to build up the Arctic and develop the shelf of the Arctic Ocean. There are plans to develop underwater infrastructure, Kornev said.

The deep-water division will engage both in military and civilian missions. The latter include geological prospecting on the Arctic shelf for oil and gas companies, the search for objects on the seabed, monitoring of underwater communications (pipelines). In 2012 project 10831 nuclear-powered deep-water station participated in the Arktika-2012 expedition to collect bedrock at major depths.

The stations are specialized nuclear submarines. Project 1910 Kashalot does not need a carrier and operates at depths of close to one thousand meters. Project 1851 Paltus is an upgraded modification. The miniature submarines are delivered to the site by a carrier-submarine. The latest nuclear-powered deep-water station is project 10831, the Izvestia writes.

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