A Look at Russia’s Stealthy New Submarine ‘Arktur’: Designed to Launch Thermonuclear Strikes From the Far North

A new class of Russian strategic ballistic missile submarine has been unveiled at the Army 2022 exhibition, with a model of the Arktur displayed alongside information that it was designed primarily to operate as a strategic ballistic missile carrier in the Arctic region. The ship was displayed next to a model Borei-A Class nuclear submarine of similar size, which if to scale would indicate that the Arktur also displaces close to 24,000 tons when submerged. The new submarine class has a streamlined hull with a low-profile sail, a squat and wide hull design, and a fully shrouded propulsion system of unknown design. Alongside four or more torpedo tubes, at least 12 large payload tubes on the ship’s rear hull are expected to house future classes of intercontinental range ballistic missile, although the possibility remains that other variants of the Arktur could deploy tactical missile classes. The ship design was displayed alongside a lighter new unmanned submarine class, the Surrogat-V, appears intended to accompany it in a supporting role. It is particularly notable that the Arktur appears designed to carry the unmanned submarines internally. While much remains unknown regarding the new submarine program, including whether it has yet to be approved by the Russian Defence Ministry, investment in such a capability is in line with two of the predominant trends in Russian defence - an emphasis on strategic deterrence and more recently an emphasis on capabilities for the Arctic region.  

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