A Russian-owned media outlet announced plans for the new submersible drone this week. The drone, called Surrogat, has been designed to “realistically reproduce the physical fields of the enemy—the acoustic and electromagnetic.” In other words, it’s been designed to mimic the signals produced by submarines, potentially fooling enemy vessels into thinking it’s any number of different submersible ships.
The Rubin Design Bureau, famed for their development of cold war era Russian submarines such as the gigantic Typhoon Class missile sub, announced that they have been developing the new submersible drone in cooperation with the Russian Navy. The Surrogat will be fifty-five feet long and capable of diving for fifteen to sixteen hours at a time. It is planned to weigh approximately fifty tons and will be capable of reaching depths of six hundred meters using a lithium-ion battery power source. Plans call for the submersible to travel at speeds “in excess of 24 knots” with a maximum range of six hundred miles.
Surrogat will come equipped with a deployable trailing antenna that will allow it to broadcast the sounds made by different classes of ballistic missile submarines as well as their active sonar signatures. The antenna is extended from the hull of the drone at the appropriate length for the submersible it attempts to mimic, creating a realistic doppelganger in the eyes of enemy sonar arrays.