Russia UMKA-2021 Exercise:
3-26-21, * -- Three Russian ballistic missile submarines surfaced next to each other from beneath ten foot plus thick ice near the North Pole as part of a recent major Arctic exercise. The head of the country's Navy said that event was a first for his service. It also underscores the growing geopolitical competition in this highly strategic region.
Official video footage shows what appears to be at least two sails belonging to Delta IV class submarines, also known as Project 667BDRM Delfins. The Delta IVs can be armed with up to 16 R-29RMU Sineva submarine-launched ballistic missiles, themselves capable of each carrying either 4 or 10 MIRVs, again depending on the warhead type.
It is known that Russian ballistic missile submarines conduct deterrent patrols under the protection of the Arctic ice, where is especially difficult to track their movements. They do, of course, still have to move out from under the ice to unleash their deadly payloads.
The Umka-2021 drills come as Russia and the United States, among others, are working to expand their abilities to project military power into the Arctic. Russia has been working particularly hard to build new facilities and expand existing ones, especially air bases, in the region. The U.S. military, in cooperation with Canada, just recently demonstrated its ability to conduct more routine combat aviation operations out of the strategic Thule Air Base in Greenland, as well.
The Russian Navy sending three ballistic missile submarines punching through the Arctic ice together in a row near the North Pole provides a very clear look at this competition and more such displays are likely to come as the geopolitical friction in the region continues to increase.
*Excerpted and adapted full original report here
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