Russia most powerful and quiet nuclear attack submarine Carries Out Missile Exercise off US East Coast

Russia most powerful and quiet nuclear attack submarine Carries Out Missile Exercise off US East Coast

By Dario Leone
Jun 12 2024
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Russia most powerful nuclear attack submarine off US East Coast

Kazan, a nuclear Russian Yasen-M-class guided missile submarine loaded with guided missiles with a range of 1,000 nautical miles is operating off the US East Coast as part of Russian missile drills in the Atlantic, USNI News reports.

The submarine, is part of a naval action group the Russian Ministry of Defense deployed to the Atlantic. According to the US MoD, the group is bound for the Caribbean as part of military drills ordered by the Kremlin against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.

The Russian MoD said in a statement that on Jun. 11, 2024 Kazan along with the advanced guided-missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov tested anti-ship missiles in the Atlantic at targets with a range of more than 350 miles before resuming its transit to a previously scheduled port visit to Havana on Jun. 12.

Ship spotters are tracking the Russian action group off the coast. The group was operating just east of the Florida Keys as of Tuesday afternoon and is under surveillance by at least three US guided-missile destroyers and a P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft, according to public flight and ship tracking data.

Global Russian naval exercise

A Pentagon spokesperson would not confirm the details, but provided a Monday statement about Russian exercises on Jun. 10.

“Russia will conduct heightened naval and air activity near the United States. These actions will likely culminate in a global Russian naval exercise this fall. We are expecting that Russia will temporarily send combat naval vessels to the Caribbean region and these ships will likely conduct port calls in Cuba and possibly Venezuela,” reads a statement from OSD. “There may also be some aircraft deployments or flights in the region. Russia’s deployments are part of routine naval activity and we are not concerned by Russia’s deployments, which pose no direct threat to the United States. “

Noteworthy, the submarine and the frigate are among the most advanced Russian warships and their presence is the largest visit of Russian Navy ships to the region in years.

As already reported, Gen. Glen VanHerck, the head of US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Mar. 23, 2023 that Russia could have had its most powerful and quiet nuclear attack submarines on persistent patrols off either US Coast starting from 2024.

“[The risk is] absolutely increasing. Within the last year, Russia has also placed their [Yasens] in the Pacific,” he said. “Now not only the Atlantic, but we also have them in the Pacific and it’s just a matter of time – probably a year or two – before that’s a persistent threat, 24 hours a day. … That impact has reduced decision space for a national senior leader in a time of crisis.”

Yazen class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine

P-8 print
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Even though it’s not clear what weapons the two ships used during the Tuesday test fire, the modern Kazan and Gorshkov both field a variety of anti-ship and land attack weapons. They both can field the 1,000-mile range 3M-54 Kalibir NK land attack cruise missile, the P-800 Oniks anti-ship missile and the 3M-22 Zircon hypersonic anti-ship cruise missiles.

K-561 Kazan is a Yazen class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine of the Russian Navy.

The Yasen class, Russian designations Project 885 Yasen and Project 885M Yasen-M (Russian: Ясень, lit. ’ash tree’, NATO reporting name: Severodvinsk), also referred to as the Graney class, are a series of nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines designed by the Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau and built by Sevmash for the Russian Navy. Design work commenced in earnest in the 1980s with the first submarine built in the 1990s–early 2010s with commissioning in 2013. Two additional boats to a modified (and slightly shorter overall) Yasen-M design were commissioned in 2021 and six more are under construction. Based on the Akula class and Alfa class designs, the Yasen class is projected to replace the Russian Navy’s current Soviet-era nuclear attack submarines. The Akula class is optimised for a hunter-killer role, whereas the Yasen class concept uses the platform as a nuclear guided missile submarine (SSGN).

Russia most powerful and quiet nuclear attack submarine

The three current boats in the class are capable of a special quiet operations mode that make them difficult to detect in the open ocean. In 2018, the lead boat in the class, Severodvinsk, evaded US efforts to find it for weeks, according to press reports.

As reported by RUSI, Kazan could field up to 32 P-800s, 40 Kalibirs and an unknown number of Zircons.

The Kalibir, modeled on the US Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, is a key weapon for the Yasen submarines.

US officials described the 13,800-ton submarines as some of the most capable boats in the world because of their silent operation and weapon load out.

Russia most powerful and quiet nuclear attack submarine Carries Out Missile Exercise off US East Coast
The nuclear submarine Kazan

Photo credit: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
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