Putin to show off huge nuclear submarine just south of Helsinki as summit with Trump sails up

The Oscar-II class vessel is similar to the Kursk that sank in the Barents Sea in 2000.
July 11, 2018


The Russian navy on Wednesday confirms the participation of “Orel” nuclear powered submarine sailing together with the convoy of Northern Fleet warships en route from Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula towards St. Petersburg. 

“The first group includes the large anti-submarine ship “Severomorsk” and the nuclear submarine missile cruiser “Orel”, the press service of the Northern Fleet says in a note posted on the Defense Ministry’s portal Wednesday evening.

Also, the recently modernized missile cruiser “Marshal Ustinov” and the brand new frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” are sailing in the same navy group, as previously reported by the Barents Observer.

The Russian warships are Wednesday evening in Skagerrak south of Norway and will during the next 24 hours pass through Storebælt in Denmark. The route continues south of Bornholm, then north along the east side of the Swedish island of Gotland before turning east into the Gulf of Finland.

Arrival in the Gulf of Finland is expected within a few days, the Northern Fleet writes.

This means Putin will have one of his navy’s largest nuclear-powered submarines sailing just south of Helsinki either a day or two before the summit, or about the same time as the historical meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump takes place on July 16th.

The ships are sailing towards Kronstadt outside St. Petersburg where they will participate in the annual Navy Parade taking place on July 29th.


Map: Google / Barents Observer

Orel” (K-266) is an Oscar-II class submarine and will have to sail in surface position under the Storebælt Bridge. The 155 meters long submarine is 25 years old and was last year re-commissioned after a longer period of overhaul at the yard in Severodvinsk by the White Sea where she once was built and commissioned in 1992.

Oscar-II class 

* Armed with 24 cruise missiles

* 155 m

* Displacement 14,700 tons surfaced
* Beam 18,2 m

* Powered by two reactors

* Crew: 120

Last year, the only remaining Typhoon submarine “Dmitry Donskoi” sailed from the White Sea, via Severomorsk, to the St. Petersburg parade. Being the world’s largest submarine, the voyage made headlines in most Scandinavian media as the vessel sailed in surface position all way. Also under the Great Belt bridge in Denmark where people lined up to take photos.

The Northern Fleet has three Oscar-II submarines still in service; “Voronezh”, “Smolensk” and “Orel”. 

On August 12th, 2000, the Oscar-II class submarine “Kursk” sank in the Barents Sea, killing all 118 on board. The submarine sank after a torpedo exploded inside it’s tube, triggering a larger fire and explosion blowing up the entire front part of the submarine.

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