• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Russia re-militarizing the Arctic? SHELF system

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
703
Reaction score
164
Website
www.hisutton.com
What are the naval and geopolitcal implications of the planned sonar network in the Arctic?

I think that this is pretty big, and makes sense of a lot of the special submarine projects in Russia. Am looking to help write a follow-up article(s).

Seems to involve placing sensors with self-contained nuclear 'energykapsules' on the ocean floor under the arctic.

In Russian: http://izvestia.ru/news/623040 <not much detail and emphasizes the satellites rather than the sea floor sensors but I think that's just journalistic bias

I've also linked it to the SHELF system and ATGU (self=-contained nuclear generator). My research focusing on one of he subs involved, Belgorod: http://www.hisutton.com/Spy%20Subs%20-Project%2009852%20Belgorod.html
HVy9p2e.jpg

I5Rlyps.jpg
 

Brickmuppet

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Messages
186
Reaction score
26
Website
brickmuppet.mee.nu
So this is in addition to KHABAROVSK?
Is there still only one KHABAROVSK in the pipeline?

I'm not convinced that the Kanyon, if going slow, is going to be all that easy to detect, especially in a surprise attack scenario. Yes, an open cycle reactor will be a terribly polluting piece of kit, but seawater is a very good radiation shield and any uranium flakes tend not to float. One of these things might quietly be fired into a port like, Houston, San Fran, Port Arthur or Beaumont and left yo go off as part of a coordinated attack. . Of course, the Russians have to expect that Kings Bay, Norfolk (note to self...move), Pearl Harbor and Bremerton would be equipped to detect big metal underwater things entering them so they would need a high speed setting for that.



I wonder if it's practical to "sling" one of these monsters under a stealthier nuclear or even conventional submarine for surprise? I suppose they wouldn't be using the resources that could go for an SSBN (KHABAROVSK) if that were the case though.
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,814
Reaction score
2,042
Brickmuppet said:
Of course, the Russians have to expect that Kings Bay, Norfolk (note to self...move), Pearl Harbor and Bremerton would be equipped to detect big metal underwater things entering them so they would need a high speed setting for that.

I would be astonished if there were anything we could actually DO about it though.
 

Brickmuppet

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Messages
186
Reaction score
26
Website
brickmuppet.mee.nu
sferrin said:
Brickmuppet said:
Of course, the Russians have to expect that Kings Bay, Norfolk (note to self...move), Pearl Harbor and Bremerton would be equipped to detect big metal underwater things entering them so they would need a high speed setting for that.

I would be astonished if there were anything we could actually DO about it though.

Good point.
If they were attempting to sneak in slowly I'd expect we could sink it. Its a bit smaller than most midget subs. However, coming in at 100 knots a nuclear depth charge might be necessary....we don't have those anymore unless we still have some B-61s with hydrostatic fuses...and popping a nuke, even a small one off Virginia Beach, or St. Simons, or Port Angeles is going to have an environmental impact akin to Crossroads Baker.

The bigger story here is the super-atomic-powered SOSUS net, which has the potential to turn the Arctic Ocean into a Russian lake almost as secure for them as the Caspian.
 

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
703
Reaction score
164
Website
www.hisutton.com
Brickmuppet said:
So this is in addition to KHABAROVSK?
Is there still only one KHABAROVSK in the pipeline?
yes, and yes currently. Russia's order book for large subs is as much public knowledge as the West's. They can hide small stuff but subs like his take up workshop room and show up in company reports.

This 2015 fact sheet might be interesting and says more than the words alone:
zQ5pIk6.jpg
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
8,064
Reaction score
1,496
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
One wonders about the legality of the nuclear power sources. Specifically... if you *just* *happen* to come across one of these things in your seafloor wanderings, can you assume that since they are abandoned, that you could snag 'em as salvage? I bet a lot of people might have used for an encapsulated nuclear reactor.
 

Avimimus

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,974
Reaction score
94
Yes, I was wondering about that too. Maybe if it is in international waters? Maybe not - They'll definitely have to update international naval laws to deal with unmanned drones soon anyway.

Brickmuppet said:
So this is in addition to KHABAROVSK?
Is there still only one KHABAROVSK in the pipeline?

I'm not convinced that the Kanyon, if going slow, is going to be all that easy to detect, especially in a surprise attack scenario. Yes, an open cycle reactor will be a terribly polluting piece of kit, but seawater is a very good radiation shield and any uranium flakes tend not to float. One of these things might quietly be fired into a port like, Houston, San Fran, Port Arthur or Beaumont and left yo go off as part of a coordinated attack. . Of course, the Russians have to expect that Kings Bay, Norfolk (note to self...move), Pearl Harbor and Bremerton would be equipped to detect big metal underwater things entering them so they would need a high speed setting for that.



I wonder if it's practical to "sling" one of these monsters under a stealthier nuclear or even conventional submarine for surprise? I suppose they wouldn't be using the resources that could go for an SSBN (KHABAROVSK) if that were the case though.

Wouldn't the external torpedo tend to negatively affect handling and acoustic stealth? Hence the internal carriage.

I still don't fully rule out a tactical use for these btw. Given the blast radius of a very large nuclear torpedo and the nominal speed they could be used for anti-carrier work. It would be almost impossible to defend against being simultaneously hit by six torpedoes from different sides - each of which can safely detonate 500 metres from its target and still ensure a mission kill. It could be used both as a deterrent and a credible Oscar II replacement.
 

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
703
Reaction score
164
Website
www.hisutton.com
Follow up article on the Arctic bit http://www.hisutton.com/Analysis%20-Russia%20seeks%20submarine%20advantage%20in%20Arctic.html
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,814
Reaction score
2,042
Brickmuppet said:
and popping a nuke, even a small one off Virginia Beach, or St. Simons, or Port Angeles is going to have an environmental impact akin to Crossroads Baker.

Probably less than a 100 MT bomb going off in the harbor though.
 

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
703
Reaction score
164
Website
www.hisutton.com
As a second strike weapon, its impact just has to be unimaginable? So in a way it's working ;)

Certain presidential candidates aside, every nuclear force in the world is operated as a deterrent. The vital ingredients are only that the other country believes that a) the consequences of being counter-attacked are unthinkable b) that you could, even after a first exchange c) that you would. Maybe the vital order is different, as the intention is the main bit? I.e. if I believe you *would*, that might deter me even if my intelligence sources weren't confident that you *could*? And the unimaginable consequences is almost a given with nuclear weapons(?).

Anyway, looks like Russia might invade Ukraine so eyes off the Arctic.
 

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
703
Reaction score
164
Website
www.hisutton.com
New photo of a model reinforcing the analysis
0PHyud8.jpg

Some people translated it for me andit says ПНАЭМ (PNAE) - Underwater Uninhabited Nuclear Power Plant.
 

stealthflanker

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
744
Reaction score
438
The small nuclear reactor is remarkable in my view at least. Assuming specific power of 38-41 Kg/kW (I scale from submarine reactor, the Reactor, foundation, shield tank, turbine, steam plant and turbo alternator) The reactor installation itself could weighs about 1.6-1.8 metric tonne for 44 kW of power. The pressure hull and other structural reinforcements will no doubt increase it, depending on the possible depth of installation. for 1000 m and assuming HY-100 like material. The pressure hull may weighs about 361 metric tonne. for 500m depth the weighs of hull essentially halved.

---
Regarding the system, i'm more curious if Russian also developed a new means of underwater communication to connect the SHELF system to their submerged submarines. Such system would be of great help coordinating the Russian SSN "Wolf pack". Providing them with greater situational awareness.
 

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
703
Reaction score
164
Website
www.hisutton.com
Updated info says a) SHELF is 6.4MW, which is more than enough for the sensor network, b) SHELF module weights (displaces?) 335 tons and c) the 'new' undersea reactor is called GIDROPRESS (or Hydraulic depending on the translation) and is by OKBM not NIKIET. It is scalable from 10-50MW and civilian.

Re Comms, interesting thought. No idea, will ask around.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
14,046
Reaction score
3,854
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/04/canada-investigates-mysterious-pinging-sound-at-bottom-of-sea-in/

Russia doing a bit of messing around, PsyOps or otherwise?
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
14,046
Reaction score
3,854
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20171121-why-russia-is-sending-robotic-submarines-to-the-arctic
 

fredymac

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
2,158
Reaction score
709
Grey Havoc said:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20171121-why-russia-is-sending-robotic-submarines-to-the-arctic

The linked article uses the below image. They credit the source but I wonder if they get permission first?
 

Attachments

  • Borei Class Sub.jpg
    Borei Class Sub.jpg
    41.7 KB · Views: 147

covert_shores

Research + illustration
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
703
Reaction score
164
Website
www.hisutton.com
Yes they did. :) professional media unlike some other British papers which use my images without asking.

I was only approached after it was written so had no direct input except allowing them to use the image. Overall great article and great to see these things being talked about in mainstream media.

I will talk about Belgorod, SHELF, HARMONY, KANYON, Losharik etc at the Underwater Security & Defense 2018 conference in UK next year. http://underwater-defence-security.com/stay-hunting-avoid-being-hunted.php
 

Attachments

  • image.jpeg
    image.jpeg
    92.9 KB · Views: 82

panzerfeist1

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
207
Reaction score
63
Website
www.quora.com
hmmm does the SOSUS use power stations from the shore and than have those network cables ran all the way to the SONAR arrays at sea or does it have the HARMONY approach of just having nuclear reactors underwater next to the SONAR arrays?
 

Josh_TN

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
757
Reaction score
389
Regarding the 'SHELF' system - I was under the impression that the artic was a very lousy place for passive sonar due to the movement and creaking of the ice?

It regards to communicating with their submarines, this is probably already doable. The US definitely has used small, almost disposable acoustic modems for remote sensors in projects related to 'Sea Web'. I assume the Russians would have some equivalent, if less advanced, acoustic coms. I'm pretty sure there have been underwater communications for submarines for many decades; in fact I suspect SHELF would be more useful as a series of communications nodes than as a detection system. Passive hydrophone detection of non cavitating targets even in the North Atlantic isn't particularly effective; trying to track USN boats in the artic sounds like a massive technical challenge that is probably beyond the Russia's financial means.
 

QuadroFX

Russia, Chelyabinsk
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
175
Reaction score
356
Website
paralay.iboards.ru
Three Russian nuclear subs simultaneously surfaced from under the ice in Arctic

View: https://youtu.be/lK4qBS68sFg



Looks like 3x 667BDRM
 
Last edited:

tequilashooter

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
241
Reaction score
206
To me the SHELF system is a very great strategic idea since they can be placed anywhere and that's the assumption for the purpose of the Belgorod for specialized missions. I wont be that surprised if the U.S. has the possibility of creating a underwater treaty about the placement of nuclear reactors next(if there is or isn't one relating to this).They also have new military satellites being launched for tracking ships so any movements being tracked can cue satellites to cue their ships or submarines especially with the creation of new weapons. They gave a layout of the Arctic, but I wont be surprised that it will not just be limited in that region.
 

Anduriel

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
18
Reaction score
13
Three Russian nuclear subs simultaneously surfaced from under the ice in Arctic

View: https://youtu.be/lK4qBS68sFg



Looks like 3x 667BDRM
2x667BRDM, 1x955A.
 

QuadroFX

Russia, Chelyabinsk
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
175
Reaction score
356
Website
paralay.iboards.ru

Attachments

  • 2839095_900.jpg
    2839095_900.jpg
    95 KB · Views: 12

Similar threads

Top