The Sunday Times has quoted naval intelligence sources saying Russia's newest submarine, the K-329, will give traditional naval superpowers cause for concern.
The SSGN Severodvinsk is huge, designed to carry 24 cruise missiles with 200 kiloton warheads, anti-ship missiles, mines and torpedoes. It is 390 feet long, its hull is coated in sound-absorbing material, and has a top speed of 30-35 knots. If that is the case it will be able to outrun many antisubmarine weapons.
Iain Ballantyne, author of Hunter Killers, has noted that spending billions from oil and gas revenues on new nuclear-powered submarines is in line with Russia's naval philosophy.