Russia Using Submarines to Test New Weapons in Norwegian Sea – Could It Be New Chishnik-M Torpedo?

  • The submarines are built with titanium instead of the previous generation that was built from steel.
  • The submarines are expected to be in the Norwegian Sea all week and for deep water diving, completed in sequence as announced by Russia's Northern Fleet.
  • The Chisnik-M I is not a modified version of Shkval torpedo but a completely new design with superior speed and distance.

Russia is testing new weapons systems using the nuclear-powered submarines B-534 Nizhny Novgorod and B-336 Pskov.  These two submarines are classified by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) as 945A Condor (Sierra-II). The Sierra class (Soviet designations Project 945 Barrakuda and Project 945A Kondor) are a series of nuclear-powered attack submarines intended for the Soviet Navy and currently in service with the Russian Navy.

Since the Soviet Era, the submarines have been overhauled and modernized. The submarines are built with titanium instead of the previous generation that was built from steel. They are equipped with six torpedoes, including the capability of carrying Kalibr missiles. The 3M-54 Kalibr (also referred to as 3M54-1 Kalibr, 3M14 Biryuza, 91R1, 91RT2) is a group of Russian surface ship, submarine-launched, airborne anti-ship and coastal anti-ship land attack cruise missiles and anti-submarine missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau.

One of the main purposes of these submarines is to survey strategic locations and the movement of foreign submarines with the ability to destroy them in case of a threat.

The submarines are expected to be in the Norwegian Sea all week and for deep water diving, completed in sequence as announced by Russia’s Northern Fleet.

The Northern Fleet is the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Arctic Ocean. Established in 1933 by the Soviet Union as the Northern Flotilla, the fleet is considered to indirectly descend from the Arctic Sea Flotilla established in 1916 by the Russian Empire to protect the White Sea during World War I.

The reason for use of the Norwegian Sea is due to the fact that the Barentsov Sea depth is not safe to use for such a testing exercise. These submarines are capable of diving up to 600 meters deep.

It is plausible to suspect the torpedo being tested is the Chishnik-M given the fact Electropribor (Concern Central Scientific and Research Institute Elektropribor) was responsible for the design of the weapons.

The Electropribor Institute started developing the first Soviet serial high-precision orientation system for the telescope on the Earth remote sensing spacecraft Gyroorbitant Kvant. It is the country’s leading institute in the field of high-precision navigation, gyroscopy, gravimetry, and submarine optical electronic systems.

Chishnik-M has been in development by Electropribor since 2013. Two prototypes were competed in 2015, with partial testing in 2016. It is the new generation torpedo whose predecessor was the Va-111 Shkval and its descendants– supercavitating torpedoes originally developed by the Soviet Union and capable of speeds in excess of 200 knots. The Chisnik-M I is not a modified version of Shkval but a completely new design with superior speed and distance.

Russia just added the Futlyar (NATO Fuzik-2) torpedo to their fleet, a Russian deep-water homing torpedo with faster speeds up to 65 km (a 5 km increase).

It is clear that Putin continues his military ambitions and this testing, yet another sign of Russia’s new trajectory. Putin continues to strategize to try to create a new world order from a geopolitical prospective and represents a potential danger.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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