Russian submarine design bureau Rubin has unveiled its latest design for a ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) at the Army 2022 defense expo. The new boat, named ‘Arcturus’ (Арктур) after the brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere, is a radical design.
Most striking about the design is that it has an angled outer hull with sloping sides and blended lines. It has a chine running all the way along the side, resembling a modern low-observable aircraft.
Submarines are, by their nature, stealthy. The Arcturus design takes this further than most however, adding an angled outer hull. This matches similar ideas in other countries for deflecting incoming active sonar. This is reminiscent of the German-designed Type-212CD which is being built for Germany and Norway. And the British Dreadnought Class ballistic missile submarine.
The angled outer hull, designed against active sonar, would be accompanied by traditional passive-sonar stealth. This involves mounting the machinery on rafts, to isolate sources of noise. There would also be anechoic coatings outside the pressure hull. Russian anechoic coatings are complex and are used extensively on their submarines.
The submarine has 12 missile silos. These are large enough for nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, which appears to be the primary mission. But one of the tubes is displayed with a launch and retrieval mechanism for a medium-sized AUV ( autonomous underwater vehicle). This implies a multi-role capability.
Specialist Underwater Drone: Surrogat-V
A new feature, not seen on previous designs, is that two (possibly 3) specialist AUVs are carried. 3 large free-flooding hangars are seen at the stern for Surrogat-V (Суррогат-В) AUVs. These companion AUVs are designed to operate in conjunction with the Arcturus submarine.