Watch Three Russian Nuclear Submarines Surface Through the Arctic Ice

The submarines are part of the country's Umka-2021 Arctic expedition.
Fabienne Lang

On Friday, March 26, three nuclear-powered Russian submarines simultaneously surfaced through Arctic ice in close proximity. The submarines are part of the Russian Navy's Umka-2021 Arctic expedition, and Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov stated it was the first of its kind for his service. 

As part of their Arctic exercise, all three submarines reached the surface within 300 m (984 feet) of each other.

The Umka-2021 expedition saw the three submarines operate since March 20 in the area of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, Alexandra Land island, and the nearby waters that are continuously covered by sheets of ice.

The area's average temperature is between -25 to -30 degrees Celcius (-13 and -22 degrees Fahrenheit), and the ice can be as thick as 1.5 meters (five feet), and wind gusts can go up to 32 meters (104 feet) per second.

The expedition has been run in conjunction with the Russian Geographical Society, the admiral stated. 

What this submarine Arctic expedition means for the Russian military

"For the first time, according to a single concept and plan in the circumpolar regions, a complex of combat training, research and practical measures of various directions is being carried out," said the Russian Navy's statement.

So far, 35 out of the planned 43 events of this expedition have been carried out, 10 of which are run jointly with the Russian Geographical Society.

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Beneath the water, the admiral stated that a nuclear submarine had fired a torpedo, followed by equipping a hole at the torpedo's ascent point and moving it up to the surface. 

On top of that, apparently, the expedition has involved over 600 military and civilian personnel, and approximately 200 pieces of weapons, military, and special equipment.

The main point of the expedition is to see what results from these measures lead to in such distant latitudes and low temperatures. 

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