Russia has commissioned the Kazan, a new and completely modern guided-missile submarine that has the U.S. Navy concerned, reports Business Insider.
The nuclear powered submarine took 12 years to build and is a marked improvement over its predecessor. Because the sub took so long to develop, Business Insider speculated it could be loaded with advance technology developed in the last few years.
"You really have a fundamentally new submarine in many respects," Jeffrey Edmonds, a research scientist at the Center for Naval Analysis, told the news outlet.
The Yasen-M class features new control systems, new quieting technology, new sensor suites, new personnel-rescue systems, new damage-control systems, and even an updated nuclear reactor designed to make less noise.
The sub will reportedly be armed with the Zircon, a Russian hypersonic missile said to be capable of reaching speeds between Mach 6 and Mach 8.
The U.S. Navy has repeatedly warned of "increased Russian Navy capabilities and activities,” the Insider noted.
Andrew Lewis, a senior officer in the U.S. Navy and is the current commander of the U.S. Second Fleet and NATO Joint Force Command for the Atlantic, said last year that "our ships can no longer expect to operate in a safe haven on the East Coast or merely cross the Atlantic unhindered.”
The Navy’s concerns come mostly from improvements in Russia's submarine fleet, especially the Severodvinsk and Kazan, according to the Insider.
The Kazan is part of Russia's Northern Fleet based in Severomorsk.
In December, The Associated Press reported that the Vladimir Monomakh submarine of the Pacific Fleet had successfully test-fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles with dummy warheads in a show of readiness of Moscow's nuclear forces.
The Defense Ministry said that the sub launched the Bulava missiles in quick succession from an underwater position in the Sea of Okhotsk. The were designed to hit designated targets on the Chiza shooting range in the Arkhangelsk region in northwestern Russia more than 3,400 miles away, according to the wire service.
The sub is one of the new Borei-class nuclear vessels that carry 16 Bulava missiles.
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