As American and Russian military jets operate dangerously close to each other earlier this week, for the third time in months, Russia has just announced, it will launch the Poseidon submarine drone, dubbed the "Doomsday Drone" and or a "Nuclear Torpedo," with an impressive range that could autonomously traverse the Atlantic Ocean and cause quite a stir in Washington.
Several Russian media outlets are reporting the developments. RIA Novosti said a military source has confirmed the unmanned underwater vehicle, which can carry a nuclear warhead, is scheduled to launch this fall. The source said the launch would be conducted from a K-329 Belgorod nuclear submarine. There was no indication of where the launch site would be.
Powered by a small nuclear reactor, Poseidon has a top speed estimated at between 60 and 100 knots, with an impressive range of 6,200 miles, and when launched from the Barents Sea or somewhere in the Arctic, can autonomously traverse the North Atlantic, an area where Russia, China, and the US are each trying to stake a claim, due mostly to the trillions of dollars of natural resources beneath the ocean floor.
On Radio Sputnik this week, a military expert, the head of the Center for the Study of Public Applied Problems of National Security, retired Colonel Alexander Zhilin, called Poseidon a "powerful weapon" and spoke about its features:
"A drone has several advantages. A submarine with a crew on board is, of course, a powerful weapon, but there are certain restrictions on the human factor. Poseidon can practically be on alert and perform assigned tasks at any time. The appearance of drones This class, of course, requires a lot of responsibility, because management is through software. It is clear that there are certain risks when, by convention, hackers can try to take control. But, talking with our engineers, designers, I came to the conclusion that protection against external interference is colossal," said Zhilin.
We first noted the development of the Poseidon when Russian President Vladimir Putin officially confirmed the weapon's existence in his annual address to the Federal Assembly in 2018.
"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.
Russia's Ministry of Defense released a video of Poseidon's strike capabilities
We noted last year the underwater nuclear drones are capable of devastating enemy coastlines with a tsunami wave up to 1,600 feet that can leave behind radioactive isotopes.
"The U.S. intelligence agencies estimate Status-6 will carry a multi-megaton thermonuclear bomb payload. For comparisons' sake the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 16 kilotons, several orders of magnitude smaller. A one megaton bomb is the equivalent of 1,000 kilotons—one one million tons of TNT. Reports from Russia indicate the bomb could be as large as 100 megatons.
"Status-6 is designed to attack enemy coastal cities, ports, shipyards, and naval bases. Once Status-6 arrives at its destination it detonates the bomb, causing an enormous amount of damage through blast and heat. A 100 megaton bomb would generate artificial tsunamis, carrying the destruction far inshore." -Popular Mechanics
With 16 Poseidon drones ready to launch. There is no adversary of Russia that is capable of overtaking Poseidon at its operating depths and fast speeds.