Ukraine develops the first stealth submarine that makes 180° turns at maximum speed

A Ukrainian company is testing a stealth submarine with the potential to change the course of the naval war between Russia and Ukraine. Is about Kronoswork of the start up Highland Systemsfounded by the Ukrainian Alexander Kuznetsovwho in turn is also the main designer of this stealth submarine that is the first with the ability to make a 180-degree turn while sailing at maximum speed.

United Arab Emirates-based company Highland Systems publicly showed off Kronos for the first time at the Naval Defense and Maritime Security Exhibition (NAVDEX) last year. According to Kuznetsov, Kronos was born as a very different project than what it is now. Was going to be a submarine to transport workers for underwater repairs and millionaires on luxury underwater trips. This would have meant two versions of Kronos, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine led Kuznetsov and his team to redesign it for military purposesaccording to The Defense Post.

Kronos.Highland Systems.

After 36 iterations, we reached a streamlined, shape-shaped design Stingray. This shape, completely different from the tube shape that is the norm in submarines, allows it to make an instant 180-degree turn while moving at its maximum speed, the first submarine capable of doing this maneuver, according to Highland Systems. “If someone fires a torpedo at us, Kronos can avoid it due to its great maneuverability and small size.“, the company assured Fast Company.

The Kronos prototype being tested by Highland Systems is capable of incapacitate a large ship thanks to its Black Scorpion missiles. It employs a hydrodynamic steel hull with a sonar absorbing coating to give it a low signature and turn it, along with its stingray form, into a submarine as stealthy as it is agile when maneuvering. Its capacity is 10 passengers and a pilot, it can transport up to 3 tons of cargo and its mass is around 10.

The Kronos prototype in the United Arab Emirates.
The Kronos prototype in the United Arab Emirates.Highland Systems.

Kronos has a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour and up to 50 when submerged. Its working depth is 100 meters, and it can reach a maximum critical depth of 250 meters, but also operate in waters as shallow as 15 meters.

Kronos, dry.
Kronos, dry.Highland Systems.

The submarine can operate with diesel or battery. The latter gives it an autonomy of 18 hours while the generator can run it for another 36 hours, which means a total of 54 hours of operating time in hybrid mode. Its range is 1,000 kilometers and can be operated remotely.

Its offensive capacity consists of 6 Black Scorpion missiles from the weapons manufacturer Leonard. In addition to shooting them, you can also approach slow-moving or anchored enemy ships without being detected, and attach magnetic mines which can then be detonated from a safe distance.

Inside Kronos.
Inside Kronos.Highland Systems.

However, it is the ability to spin quickly and sink to the seafloor that makes Kronos a fearsome submarine for the Russian Army if it is finally adopted by the Ukrainian Army. In addition, its maximum speed makes it difficult for enemy ships to pursue it and use their weapons against it.