New Russian stealth nuclear submarine intrigues experts – Interstars

A new submarine was presented at the Russian arms fair Army 2022: the Arcturus. Sharing the name with the star of the same name, Arcturus is the brightest star in the northern sky.

Arktur became the successor to the Russian Borei-class present. Just like these, the Arktur is a nuclear submarine, the nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles can shoot. And although it comes from the design office of the Kriegsmarine ruby Advertised as a missile submarine, there are certain elements that experts say argue for other functions. In addition, the futuristic design indicates a more developed drive concept.

Russian design bureau Rubin posted these images of Arkturus on Telegram

Sleek and quirky at the same time

At first glance, the hull is very rounded. If you take a closer look at the model exhibited at the fair and the photos published by Rubin, you can see one arc edge. This is designed to help mask the sonar signature, making Arcturus harder to detect.

Also the German 212CD submarine and the British Dreadnought-class count on a similar shell. However, the turret seamlessly integrated into the design and the unusual rear make the Arktur look much more modern.

According to naval weapons expert HI Sutton, the Arktur will also have other measures to evade detection by sonar. So Russia uses one on its submarines special coating, which removes noise leakage. In addition, the machines rest on a kind of raft, which reduces vibration and noise.


Naval expert HI Sutton used the model and rare information to create this impressive Arcturus infographic

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Driving is particularly interesting. Like the previous Borei model, the Arktur also uses a Pump jet propulsion. A pump-jet drive is quieter than a conventional underwater drive with an external rotor.

In the case of the Arktur, it has 4 water inlets – 2 each above and 2 below. The air intakes are integrated into the hull so as to reduce the signature. Weapons expert Joseph Dempsey speculates that the reader direct electric takes place – for example by batteries previously charged by the nuclear reactor on board.

This would be new and would make the Arktur even quieter. Because the steam turbine, which converts the steam generated by the nuclear reactor into electricity, does not have to operate until the energy of the batteries is exhausted.

The rudders at the stern, behind the jet pump inlet holes, are also striking. These are bent inward. This suggests that the Arktur, coupled with the new propulsion system, could be more maneuverable than other submarines of its size.

Zoom on drones

Arcturus is slightly smaller than Borei, but that’s not uncommon. She is 134 meters long, 15.7 meters wide and has a crew of 100. Instead of 16 cruise missile launch containers, she only has 12. This is a common trend these days, as warheads have become more powerful and efficient, and multiple re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) can hit multiple targets anyway.

In the model of the fair, there is no rocket in a launch container, but an expandable system for throwing and catching mid-size underwater drones have. Even more striking than that are the 3 hangars built into the submarine for large underwater drones of the type Substitute V.

Previous models in the Surrogate series were intended to be used as practice targets or decoys as they can simulate the signature of a submarine. Substitute V seems to be for the Fight against submarines be made. According to the model presented, it should have a very large sonar and a pump jet propulsion to move quickly under water. She has also SOKS – a submarine detection system without sonar. It “smells” the chemicals and radiation in the water that submarines typically leave behind.

It is unknown what the Surrogate-V does when it has detected an enemy submarine. It could possibly have an explosive device on board and become a kamikaze drone – in which case it would be a kind of “intelligent torpedo”. Due to its size, however, it could also tend to be equipped with a mini torpedo, which it then fires at the sub’s propulsion to cripple it.

Possible use as a hunting submarine

The high maneuverability, emphasis on drones and very large sonar areas suggest that the Arkturus could also play a role of fighter submarine can take. But it’s actually too big for that, which is why weapons experts are puzzled as to what Rubin wants to achieve with the Arcturus.

While Rubin thinks the Arktur should replace the Borei from 2050, the experts behind the design suspect a Pitch to the Russian government – so it is far from certain that the Arktur will actually be built. To make the new submarine acceptable to the Kremlin, Rubin called it Multi-mission submarine advertise – that is, as a “jack of all trades”. Stealth properties and drones would make it good for espionage and sabotage (e.g. against underwater internet cables), it can be used as a hunting submarine thanks to Surrogate-V and high mobility and features still 12 rounds of launch, the old atom missile – replacing submarines of the Russian fleet.

Sutton still sees little chance that the Arcturus will actually be built. Russia currently does not have the money to do so. Moreover, Russia is decades behind with its underwater projects. Wanting to build another new class of submarines would make this situation worse rather than better.

New Russian stealth nuclear submarine intrigues experts – Interstars