The Archangel, the new Russian Yasen-M class submarine equipped with hypersonic nuclear weapons

Russia has begun testing of what will be the fifth submarine of the class Yasen in his army. Its about ArkhangelskArcángel in Spanish, a nuclear-powered stealth submarine equipped with Russia’s most advanced technology that will be armed with, among others, hypersonic nuclear missiles zircon. Russia has announced that the start of the tests took place on June 11, coinciding with the arrival in Cuba of another Yasen-class submarine, the Kazanalong with other Russian warships, after carrying out military exercises in the Caribbean, which has been seen as a provocation by Putin with echoes of the 1962 missile crisis.

The Archangel is located in the White Sea, off the northeast coast of Russia. According to Russian maritime news outlet Paluba, represents the pinnacle of Russian naval engineering and is destined to redefine modern submarine warfare. The Archangel has been designed by the Malakhit Design Office and built in the shipyard Sevmash during a period of 8 years that began in March 2015 and ended last November with the launching of the submarine.

Information about the Archangel is very scarce, but the Russian state news agency TASS has noted that it is equipped with capabilities sneaky superior, advanced sonar systems and better combat systems than previous Russian submarines. The Archangel belongs to the subclass Yasen-Man upgraded variant of the Yasen class.

New generation of submarinesA. CruzThe reason

The testing period will last several months and is crucial to evaluate the operational readiness and performance of the submarine in real conditions. These tests involve tests of the submarine’s propulsion systems, navigation and combat capabilities, ensuring that all systems function as designed before the ship is formally inducted into the fleet. The tests in the White Sea will be followed by state acceptance tests scheduled for this year.

The Arkhangelsk is expected to be officially handed over to the Russian Navy in December 2024, thus improving Russia’s maritime strategic and tactical capabilities. Yasen-M submarines are designed for multiple roles, including anti-ship, anti-submarine and land attack missions, making them versatile assets. She is the fifth submarine of this class, which follows a line of vessels named after Russian cities, such as the Severodvinsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and Kazan. Another four are currently under construction and Russia plans three more of the same class that should arrive throughout this decade.

Aleksei Rakhmanovhead of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, highlighted in statements to the state news agency RIA Novosti after its launch that ‘this ship is not only a testament to our technological prowess, but also a critical asset to maintain Russia’s naval superiority‘. In August he noted that he will be able to carry cruise missiles Kalibr and Onyxas well as hypersonic missiles zircon.

Zircons reach speeds of Mach 8, close to 10,000 km/hourand have a range of 1,000 kilometers. This hypersonic cruise missile is composed of two stagesthe first with solid fuel engines that take it to supersonic speeds and the second with a scramjet engine with liquid fuel that takes it to hypersonic speeds.

According to Moscow, they are designed to overcome any current defense and reach an aircraft carrier or ground target without being shot down. According to Ukraine, these missiles, without a nuclear warhead, have already been used by the Russian army in the current conflict. The launch of a Zircon from a Yasen-class submarine, the Severodvinsk, was already successfully tested by Russia in October 2021.