In an unusual move, Russia’s Zvezdochka Shipyard has uploaded a video of a spy submarine on her maiden voyage to YouTube.
The Podmoskovye (“Moscow”), started sea trials a few weeks ago in the White Sea and will join the submarine brigade of Russia’s Northern Fleet. The Independent Barents Observer states that the submarine plays a vital role in Russia’s subsea intelligence gathering.
The submarine (BS-64) is a nuclear-powered, Delfin-class ballistic missile submarine originally launched in 1986. The submarine was renamed to BS-64 in 2002, and her central section containing 16 silos for ballistic missiles was removed to create space for the installation of scientific equipment and accommodation for scientists. It is now believed to be capable of carrying mini-submarines.
State TV-channel Rossiya 24 reported that the main purpose of the vessel is to fight wiretapping from American and NATO allies’ communication cables on the seabed. This can be interpreted both in the meaning of protecting own communication cables and tapping American and NATO cables, says the Independent Barents Observer.
The submarine can also install or remove small military devices on the sea floor, for example noise makers to distract foreign submarines when Russian submarines sail out from the Kola Peninsula to the North Atlantic. The submarine could also salvage equipment from wrecks.