After the Cold War, the Russian economy has been sluggish for so many years to afford a powerful surface fleet. It isn’t enthusiastic enough about building an ocean-going fleet as a traditional land power, either. Therefore, nuclear submarine, as a symbol of the “three-in-one” sea-based nuclear deterrence system, becomes one of the most favorite strategic weapons for Russia, even more significant than aircraft carrier. Moscow has spared no effort in developing nuclear submarines as the pillar of its national defense, so as to guarantee the reliability of secondary nuclear counterattack from under water.
The Russian Navy’s nuclear submarine efforts have yielded great results, with 37 in service now, including 11 strategic nuclear submarines, 8 cruise missile nuclear submarines, and 18 nuclear attack submarines. The Novosibirsk that was recently floated out was a modernized and modified version of the most advanced Yasen-class multi-purpose nuclear-powered attack submarine, boasting a range of latest, unique R&D results in weapon and equipment, information system and power devices. Russia’s future multi-purpose nuclear submarines will all be designed and produced after it, which will not only largely enhance the navy’s general underwater combat capability, but also pose more serious challenges to the US.
Washington and Moscow have been engaged in an intensified competition for military superiority over the years. Especially since last year, western countries led by the US have adopted a series of measures that worsen the international situation, which have put Russia on pins and needles about the possible disruption of the balanced strategic deterrence system.
As Russia falls farther behind the western countries, represented by the US, in conventional forces, strategic weapon has become an important guarantee for it to deter the aggression of powerful enemies and maintain its major power position. Given the current global military race, Moscow has to apply advanced technologies where breakthroughs have been made to the military sector at a faster pace in order to enhance its core capability in military technology.
In addition to nuclear submarines, Russia has also made remarkable progress in the development of air and space defense equipment, sophisticated weaponry and AI weaponry. Russia’s “Dagger” and“Zircon” hypersonic missiles make it the only country in the world armed with such weapons, followed by a string of other new-concept ones. They will be a mighty deterrence to the US-led western rivals, which could effectively defend Russia’s national security.
(The authoris a researcher at the BRI Institute of Strategy and International Security, Fudan University.)