russian navy
A Russian Navy shipWikimedia commons

Russia successfully tested its indigenously built autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) named Rus, which dove in to the central Atlantic Ocean crossing the 6-km mark.

The underwater vehicle will be able to outline the boundaries of the arctic shelf in Russian territory, reports said on Monday.

The sea drone will be used for "technical work, search-and-rescue, and scientific research at depths of up to 6,000 metres using a manipulator," said Vice-Admiral Alexei Burilichev, who is responsible for the Russian Defence Ministry's department for deep-sea research, in a ministerial statement.

The subsea drone is enabled to take pictures and videos, conduct geological surveys, and explore underwater archaeological sites, reported Sputnik News. The drone's body is made of a high-strength titanium alloy.

"People at the Pentagon say our drone is meant to destroy undersea infrastructure, disrupt Internet communications, destroy underwater cables, pick up secret information and things like that. As for me, I fully agree with those who say this mini-sub will help us determine the limits of our continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. Conventional submarines can dive to a kilometre and a half, while this one can go much deeper to map the parts of the underwater shelf we claim. This unique mini-sub, which can dive to six kilometres and more, is exactly what we need to prove the Arctic zones we claim really belong to us," Viktor Baranets, a Russian military expert, told Radio Sputnik.

"By creating this mini-sub, Russia has proved once again it is in the forefront of scientific-technical progress in this particular area," he added.

The drone, which was tested on Monday, dove 6180 metres and can be manned by a crew of two or three. The vehicle was released from the Yantar oceanographic research ship.