Russian ballistic missile sub spotted off French coast

(From the National Interest)

By Dave Majumdar

As tensions between Russia and the West ratchet up, Moscow’s submarine fleet has increased its activity to levels not seen since before the end of the Cold War. Indeed, since the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a Russian ballistic missile submarine has been spotted in the Atlantic near the French coast in the Bay of Biscay, reports the French newspaper L’Obs.

Russian Delfin-class missile submarine

Russian Delfin-class missile submarine

Citing a senior French defense official, the paper reported that the Russian ballistic missile—which was spotted this January—came close to, but did not enter French territorial waters. However, the French defense ministry would not confirm or deny the sighting. Paris generally maintains a policy of not to commenting on such matters. “Russian naval activity has been on the rise for several months, if not years, and we are permanently attentive to it,” a French navy spokesman told Reuters.

The submarine was believed to be a Project 667BDRM Delfin-class vessel, which is also known in NATO parlance as the Delta IV. The roughly 18,000-ton boat carries sixteen R-29RMU Sineva or R-29RMU2.1 Liner liquid-fueled ballistic missiles that each carry four warhead and have a range of about 7,500 miles. Read more


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