The news has been circulating for a few days on various social networks, but has also been relayed by a number of newspapers and, above all, by the Twitter account @CovertShores, which is recognised for its reliability: the Russian Navy has allegedly deployed an Akula-class nuclear submarine in the Mediterranean.
Akula class are a series of nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) first deployed by the Soviet Navy in 1986. Four 533-millimeter torpedo tubes and four large 650-millimeter tubes could deploy up to forty wire-guided torpedoes, mines, or long-range SS-N-15 Starfish and SS-N-16 Stallion antiship missiles. The Akula could also carry up to twelve Granat cruise missiles capable of hitting targets on land up to three thousand kilometers away. The Akula do not carry ballistic missiles or nuclear-tipped missiles.
At present, a couple of SSK (diesel-electric submarine) Kilo class submarines that have their home port in Tartus, Syria, are certainly in the Mediterranean.
We have not noticed an increase in the missions of the USN P-8A at Sigonella but, contrary to the usual practice, they are operating over the eastern Mediterranean with the ADS-B transponder switched off.
The USS Truman CSG (the Truman carrier arrived in Souda yesterday) and the Charles de Gaulle CSG (sailing in the Ionian Sea) are currently operating in the Mediterranean.