Russia produces first nuclear warheads for Poseidon super torpedo, Tass reports

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has produced the first nuclear warheads for the Poseidon autonomous super torpedoes that are being developed for deployment on the Belgorod nuclear submarine, TASS reported on Monday, citing an unidentified defense source.
Since a grim New Year’s message portraying the West as Russia’s real enemy in the war against Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has sent several signals that Russia will not back down. He sent hypersonic missiles into the Atlantic and appointed his general-in-chief to lead the war.
Both US and Russian officials have described Poseidon as a new class of retaliatory weapon, capable of unleashing radioactive ocean swells to render coastal cities uninhabitable.
“The first loads of Poseidon ammunition have been produced and the Belgorod submarine will receive them in the near future,” TASS, an official news agency, quoted the source as saying.
TASS said the main components of Poseidon, including a nuclear reactor to give the torpedo its own power source, had been successfully completed. The crew of the Belgorod nuclear submarine also carried out tests with models of the torpedo, TASS said.
The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Putin first announced what would become known as Poseidon in 2018, saying it was a fundamentally new type of strategic nuclear weapon, confirming it would have its own nuclear power supply.
There are few confirmed details about the Poseidon in the public domain, but it is essentially a cross between a torpedo and a drone that can be launched from a nuclear submarine.
The Russian Defense Ministry showed videos of the 24-meter Poseidon, known as Kanyon to NATO, including simulations showing it destroying an enemy aircraft carrier and hitting the shore.
Putin’s torpedo
The Poseidon has its roots in Soviet plans under Josef Stalin for a nuclear torpedo that could devastate the shores of the United States.
In the 2018 speech, Putin said the torpedo’s range would be unlimited and it could operate at extreme depths at speeds several times faster than any submarine or other torpedo.
“They are very quiet, have great maneuverability and are virtually indestructible to the enemy. There is no weapon that can counter them in the world today,” Putin said.
The Poseidon will be transported by the K-329 Belgorod, a special-purpose nuclear submarine that was built by the Sevmash shipyard.
The United States said in its 2022 nuclear posture review that Russia and China “continue to expand and diversify their nuclear capabilities, to include new and destabilizing systems.”
“Russia is pursuing several new nuclear-capable systems designed to keep the American homeland or its allies and partners at risk,” according to the Posture Review.
Last year, the US Naval Institute said Russia’s development of Poseidon had upended assumptions about submarine-launched nuclear weapons.
“Perhaps most chillingly, this nuclear weapon has the potential for autonomous operation,” the institute said.
“A fully operational Kanyon would have incredible strategic impact,” he said in an article. “As a new delivery platform, it is not covered by current nuclear weapons treaties.”


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