The 120-metre Severodvinsk submarine can be seen sinking slowly below the surface before its Kalibr missile erupts from the waves
Is this a warning shot? This chilling footage shows a Russian nuclear submarine launching a cruise missile from underwater to destroy a coastal training target.
The 120-metre Severodvinsk submarine can be seen sinking slowly below the surface of the Barents Sea as part of Russian navy Arctic combat drills.
Then the Kalibr missile erupts from the waves in a plume of smoke and streaks away into the distance. A loud rumbling can be heard before the camera zooms in to show the launch site.
It is the latest show of strength from the country’s military after a number of close passes by fighter jets near US planes and ships.
This year Russia has increased its military presence in the Arctic region where it and other world powers are locked in a battle to claim valuable territory and underwater mining rights.
The Russian military said the cruise missile struck its target, in the Arkhangelsk region, “with high accuracy”.
A statement added: “A strike group of the flotilla has conducted firing drills using naval practice targets and hit them successfully.”
The Kalibr missile, which can carry nuclear or conventional payloads, travels at speeds up to Mach 2.9 – the same as a space shuttle during launch. The land-attack, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapon has a range of up to 1,500 miles.
Kalibrs have been used to strike ISIS infrastructure targets in Raqqa, Syria. Video footage showed a salvo of the missiles being launched from ships in the Mediterranean.
More than 20 warships and support vessels of the Caspian flotilla took part in the drills, Russia said.
The Severodvinsk nuclear-powered attack submarine launched in 2010. It can carry up to 40 of the Kalibr missiles, designed to target and Russia plans to build 12 of them.
The craft is fast, too – it can push its 13,900-ton bulk through the water at up to 35 knots at full pelt, quicker than its American counterparts and nearly as fast as Russia’s legendary, though tiny, Alfa-class hunter killers that could intercept a foe at speeds of 41 knots, equivalent to about 46mph.
The Yasen-class Severodvinsk has impressed American officials who called it a “tough potential opponent”, the US Naval Institute reported.
Earlier this month Admiral Mark Ferguson, the US naval commander in Europe, told CNN that Russian submarine activity was at levels not seen since the Cold War. The country’s new boats are “much more stealthy”, he said.
He added that the Russians “have more advanced weapons systems, missile systems that can attack land at long ranges, and we also see their operating proficiency is getting better as they range farther from home waters.”
There have also been several high-profile aerial encounters with Russian jets in recent weeks in which pilots have flown extremely close to US planes and ships.
The most recent, yesterday, allegedly saw a Russian SU-27 Flanker pilot barrel roll over an American reconnaissance plane, coming within 25 feet of the larger aircraft.