The Hunt for Krasnodar: Russian Sub in the English Channel

  • Krasnodar was headed towards St. Petersburg. It entered the English Channel and disappeared.
  • It is not the first time a Russian sub has disappeared from radar.
  • NATO should be paying close attention to the Russian submarines and their whereabouts for security reasons.

Britain announced that it lost track of a Russian submarine in the English channel on Sunday. The submarine no longer could be tracked or detected. The submarine that was lost by British radar is the Krasnodar, which is a class Varshvyanka submarine, also known as Project 636.

Kilo class, Soviet designation Project 877 Paltus, is a class of diesel-electric attack submarines designed and built in the Soviet Union for the Soviet Navy. The class was built until the mid-1990s, when production was switched to the more advanced Project 636 Varshavyanka variant, also known as Improved Kilo-class by the West.

Krasnodar was headed towards St. Petersburg. It entered the English Channel and disappeared. According to Forbes, the last coordinates of the submarine were at the westernmost point of the English Land’s End.

The Russian version of events is that the submarine is returning back for maintenance to St. Petersburg, but the route of the ship is not disclosed by Russia. It should be noted, the ship was originally in Syria, and spent over a year in the Mediterranean.

The Project 636 “Varshavyanka” consists of 6 submarines:

  1. Novorossiysk was transferred to the Russian Navy on August 22, 2014.
  2. Stary Oskol was launched on 28 August 2014.
  3. Veliky Novgorod was founded on October 30, 2014.
  4. Kolpino was laid down on October 30, 2014.
  5. Rostov-on-don was transferred to the Russian Navy on December 30, 2014.
  6. Krasnodar was launched on April 25, 2015.

Moreover, the Project 636 ship has an optimal combination of target detection range and acoustic stealth. It is equipped with an automated information and control system, and a modern inertial navigation system, which provides the best characteristics of a submarine among similar boats.

According to the designers, these boats are able to provide guaranteed pre-emptive detection and the ability to attack enemy ships from a long distance using anti-ship cruise missiles due to the low noise level.

The technical characteristics of Krasnodar submarine:

  • Underwater displacement: 3.95 thousand tons.
  • Travel speed: 20 knots.
  • Diving depth: 300 m.
  • Autonomous navigation: 45 days.
  • Crew: 52 people.

The weapons: 18 torpedoes, Strela-3, 8 surface-to-air missiles, 6 533 mm torpedo tubes, rocket complex Caliber.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the news comes after the UK accused Russia of hacking the labs that are working on the Coronavirus vaccine. In November 2019, Russia’s spy ship Yantar disappeared from radars near North American shores, after being spotted on November 8.

Yantar is a special purpose intelligence collection ship built for the Russian Navy under the pretense of research. Yantar always seems to appear where there are underground cables.

Last October, ten Russian submarines were seen moving simultaneously in Norwegian waters. As experts point out, they slowly moved westward in the waters around Greenland, Iceland and England. This particular area is known as the GIUK GAP.

A majorit of the population believes that the submarine’s main purpose is to destroy enemies’ defense machines. There is also a theory that Hitler was planning to conquer Britain via super submarine.

Hero of the Russian Federation, also unofficially Hero of Russia, s the highest honorary title of the Russian Federation. The title comes with a Gold Star medal, an insignia of honour that identifies recipients.

However, Russian submarines seem to be more focused on perfecting the technology to destroy infrastructure, such as underwater cables, to paralyze the grid if necessary.

One of the most top secret division in the Russian military is GUGI, the Russian General Directorate of Deep-Sea Research. It should be noted, the Yantar submarine was specifically designed for GUGI.

What little is known about the branch mandate is to collect intelligence information about enemy equipment, protect and maintain deep-sea communication lines, and lift from the bottom the remnants of secret equipment left after tests or accidents.

Additionally, GUGI is engaged in hydrology and hydrography. Hence, GUGI contributes to the appearance of maps of the underwater situation, which are later used by the commanders and navigators of our submarines, including nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles on Board.

Interestingly, this branch receives the highest number of the most prestigious award, Hero of the Russian Federation, by the Kremlin. At the same time, it is never disclosed what the highest medal on such level was awarded for. Even the families of the recipients never know such information.

It is plausible that the latest loss of the Krasnodar detection could mean that it is on an intelligence mission near the UK, including their grid systems analysis. A majority of the internet traffic is from the underwater cables.

NATO should be paying close attention to the Russian submarines and their whereabouts for security reasons.

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Christina Kitova

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

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