According to the state agency Tass, Russia is increasing its naval operations in the Pacific region, with plans to install more nuclear submarines in the area by 2024.
Tass did not specify where the bases would be, but Russia has a naval base in Vladivostok, which has been in operation for more than 100 years. It also has a Pacific Fleet base that can house nuclear submarines on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Russia already has nuclear submarines that can stay submerged for months, including new Borey-class ships, at least three of which are scheduled for deployment in the Pacific region.
The Borey class can carry 16 Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Each Bulava can carry six 140-megaton nuclear warheads. By comparison, the bomb that killed some 80,000 people when it was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki in World War II had 18 kilotons.
The bases could also house submarines capable of launching a nuclear-capable guided torpedo.
According to the US Naval Institute, the Poseidon torpedo is about 24 meters long. It is a nuclear-armed drone that relies on nuclear propulsion, allowing it to hit targets thousands of miles away. Kilometers away from its launch point.
Little is known about the Poseidon warhead, but experts say it could have a power of two megatons, giving it a destructive power some 100 times that of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
Tass reported that the torpedoes are being developed for deployment on the Belgorod and Khabarovsk nuclear submarines. Russia said it was working on building 30 of the devices.
“Coastal infrastructure construction work for the installation of two special submarines in Kamchatka is scheduled to be completed early next year,” a defense source told Tass.
The Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk make up the eastern and western coasts of the Kamchatka Peninsula.
The source told Tass that a new division was being formed as part of the Submarine Forces of the Pacific Fleet, which would include Belgorod and Khabarovsk and other submarines.
The source said that the new special submarines would participate in the resolution of “strategic deterrence” tasks. The major modernization of the Russian nuclear base comes amid rising tensions between the United States and China over influence in the western Pacific.
Putin afirmó el domingo que Moscú no estaba creando una alianza militar con Pekín, pero tanto él como el líder chino, Xi Jinping, prometieron estrechar lazos, también en el ámbito militar, durante su reunión de la semana pasada.