"Doomsday Weapon" - How Could The West Respond To Russia's Underwater Nuke Drone?

  • Written by Zero Hedge
  • Published in Economics

Mikhail Khodarenok, military commentator for Gazeta.ru, via RT.com,

US and British navies could counter Russia’s nuclear-powered autonomous torpedo, Poseidon, by using undersea sensors and anti-submarine aircraft, writes Covert Shores website. But is this really a viable tactic?

The development of the Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), originally known as ‘Status-6’, was first mentioned in November 2015. Western media later dubbed the submarine drone a doomsday weapon. 

On March 1, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially confirmed the weapon’s existence in his annual address to the Federal Assembly.

We have developed unmanned submersible vehicles that can move at great depths – I would say extreme depths – intercontinentally, at a speed multiple times higher than the speed of submarines, cutting-edge torpedoes and all kinds of surface vessels, said Putin.

It is reported that the main goal of the torpedo is to deliver a thermonuclear warhead to enemy shores in order to destroy important coastal infrastructure and industrial objects, as well as ensure massive damage to the enemy’s territory by subjecting vast areas to radioactive tsunamis and other devastating consequences of a nuclear explosion.

New up to date mega article on #Russia Poseidon (Status-6 / Skif / KANYON) Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo. https://t.co/aY5qi8dA6g illustration with person for scale: pic.twitter.com/JnTTjRrWEj

— H I Sutton (@CovertShores)
July 24, 2018

Another potential use for the Poseidon torpedo is to strike US aircraft carrier battle groups.

On December 8, 2016, US intelligence reported that, on November 27, Russia had conducted a test of a nuclear-powered UUV, launched from a B-90 Sarov-class submarine. In February, the Pentagon officially added Status-6 to Russia’s nuclear triad by mentioning it in the US Nuclear Posture Review.

At present, the technical specifications of Poseidon torpedoes are classified information. So far, it is known that the UUV is over 19 meters in length and almost two meters in width. Earlier, it was assumed that Poseidon would be equipped with a 100-megaton thermonuclear warhead that could obliterate entire coastal cities and cause destruction further inland, triggering tsunamis laden with radioactive fallout.

However, according to the latest information, the power of the Poseidon’s warhead is just two megatons. But this does not change much. This amount of nuclear material is still enough to destroy large coastal cities, naval bases and cause a tsunami.

In addition, a warhead of this class could easily wipe out any carrier strike group of the US Navy.

According to some reports, Poseidon can develop speeds up to 70 knots, which is faster than any US nuclear submarine or anti-ship torpedo. The operational depth of the Poseidon is more than a thousand meters, which also significantly exceeds the capabilities of US submarines.

According to Covert Shores, the new Russian UUV can be located...

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