"New Russian nuclear sub catches U.S. by surprise" -- Russia’s newest nuclear-powered submarine, the Gepard, will enter service next month. The super-quiet submarine has been identified by U.S. intelligence officials as an advanced Akula II-class attack submarine.
The deployment of the Gepard surprised U.S. intelligence agencies
which had not expected to see the new submarine launched for several years.
The submarine is quieter than U.S. Los Angeles-class attack submarines,
giving it greater survivability. The submarine will join the Russian
Northern Fleet in early December, according to U.S. officials.
The submarine is the 14th Akula II submarine, has a maximum speed of 33 knots and can dive to depths of up to 1,800 feet. It will be outfitted with strategic nuclear cruise missiles.
The ship demonstrates Russia’s continuing drive to develope sea-based strategic systems, the officials said.