Russia may be preparing ‘doomsday’ nuclear torpedo test: Report

Russia Nuclear Drills
In this handout photo taken from video released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, the Tula nuclear submarine of the Russian navy is on a mission to conduct a practice launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile as part of drills of the country’s nuclear forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin has monitored drills of the country’s strategic nuclear forces involving multiple practice launches of ballistic and cruise missiles. The Kremlin said in a statement that all the test-fired missiles reached their designated targets. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP) AP

Russia may be preparing ‘doomsday’ nuclear torpedo test: Report

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Russia may be preparing a test of its new nuclear “doomsday” torpedo sometime in the coming weeks, a senior U.S. official said.

U.S. intelligence monitored Russian naval vessels leaving their base and entering an Arctic testing area, the official told CNN, among which was Russia’s new Belgorod nuclear submarine. The Belgorod carries the new Poseidon autonomous nuclear torpedo, a “doomsday” weapon with a massive payload and wide range, hypothetically boasting the ability to strike anywhere in the world. However, the official told the outlet that any such test would be unlikely to involve a nuclear detonation, but a malfunction in the weapon’s propulsion could result in radioactive leakage.

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The Belgorod, the first Project 09852 special-purpose nuclear-powered submarine, was commissioned in the northern Russian city of Severodvinsk, the headquarters of the Northern Fleet, according to U.S. Naval Institute News. The ship was put into active service earlier this year.

The Belgorod grabbed headlines as being the first submarine capable of launching the Poseidon, an “Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo,” the largest torpedo ever created, according to naval expert H. I. Sutton. The nuclear-armed torpedo is twice as large as submarine-launched ballistic missiles and 30 times larger than a standard torpedo.

The Poseidon is particularly deadly due to its essentially unlimited range and untraceable nature, making it nearly impossible to intercept, unlike some nuclear weapons launched via ballistic missile. Much about the weapon remains shrouded in mystery, however, and it’s likely that the Kremlin would like to see it tested more to prove its capabilities.

The weapons system made headlines in May when Dmitry Kiselyov, a presenter for state-owned media company Russia-1, threatened to use the Poseidon to destroy the United Kingdom and Ireland in a nuclear tsunami. He said the weapon’s 100-megaton yield would produce a 500-meter-high radioactive tsunami that would turn the British Isles into a radioactive desert, a claim disputed by Western experts.

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Last month, the Belgorod temporarily vanished from the eyes of Western intelligence, causing some panic.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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