- REUTERS/Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
- The Russian Ministry of Defense released testing footage of “Poseidon” – a devastating, high-speed nuclear torpedo – for the first time on Wednesday.
- Although the video appears to show the weapon in a testing pool, it is the first time it has been seen in action, as previous videos relied on computer animations.
Russia released the first video of its threatening “Poseidon” nuclear torpedo undergoing testing on Wednesday.
The weapon, which was first revealed by Russian state television four years ago, was officially unveiled during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state-of-the-nation address in March 2018.
While delivering this year’s address on Wednesday, Putin announced that “Poseidon” – an intercontinental-range, autonomous nuclear torpedo sometimes described as a drone – has been undergoing testing alongside the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile.
The nuclear torpedo was designed to attack carrier strike groups and shore installations. But the sheer explosive potential of the weapon, which reportedly ranges up to 100 megatons, would send a devastating wave of radiation through the ocean and a continent’s coast for decades.
The video released Wednesday by the defense ministry is the first to show the weapon in action, even if only in what appears to be a testing pool. Previous videos showed the weapon in labs, using computer animation to present its capabilities.
It’s unclear when the video was taken, but Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Wednesday that underwater tests of the new weapon have been completed, according to Russian media. Putin made the same announcement earlier this month.
Russia said the nuclear-powered Poseidon torpedo, which is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads, will have an unlimited range and a maximum speed of 125 mph.
“Unique characteristics of the Poseidon system will help the navy to successfully combat aircraft carriers and strike groups of a potential adversary in any oceanic theater of war and destroy shore infrastructure facilities,” Adm. Igor Katasonov, chief analyst of the general staff, previously said.
Putin revealed Wednesday that Russia plans to launch its first nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying the Poseidon torpedo this spring.
Tests of the Poseidon have reportedly been carried out by B-90 Sarov-class Project 20120 diesel-electric submarines. The weapon, also known as “Kanyon” and described by the 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review as a “new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo,” is expected to be delivered to the Russian navy in the late 2020s, according to The Diplomat.
The Russians are expected to deploy nearly three dozen Poseidon torpedoes, Russian state media said last month.