Russia is testing a new drone submarine that will fool NATO submarines into believing its a real sub, revealing their positions.
Codenamed the'Surrogate' the 40 ton craft is 17 metres long, has a range of 600 miles and can travel at a top speed of 24 knots. Powered by lithium batteries, it can operate for up to fifteen hours underwater.
The vessel will carry hi-tech equipment allowing it to scramble sonar signals, playing 'games' with NATO forces and surveillance equipment, whilst at the same time mimicking both nuclear and non-nuclear submarines. The Russians claim it was developed to train their personnel in anti-submarine warfare even though the subs designer Igor Vilnit told TASS that it' will help realistically reproduce an enemy submarine's physical field - acoustic and electromagnetic. Today combat submarines have to be involved for exercises or tests and this practice distracts them from carrying out their basic missions. The use of an unmanned imitator will help avoid this and cut the cost of drills. Besides, a submarine without a crew reduces risks while keeping simulated scenarios realistic'.
In recent years Russia has been re-building its once great war machine in a move the West finds alarming and intimidating.