Russia's new submarines will be armed with 'Poseidon' nuke torpedoes

According to media sources, the country is plowing ahead with plans to complete a new division of special submarines for its 'Poseidon' nuke-torpedoes.
Christopher McFadden
Called "Project 09851," the new subs will be armed with devastating nuke torpedoes.

Pixilated Planet/iStock 

According to a Russian state news agency, TASS, the nation's Pacific Fleet is looking to action plans to create a new division of submarines capable of launching intercontinental-range nuclear drone-torpedoes, dubbed "Poseidon." As we reported earlier this year, these torpedoes have been specifically designed to attack coastal cities by generating man-made radioactive tsunamis using a high-yield nuclear warhead.

But this plan has been questioned because it would be easy for the energy to go away under the sea. Such torpedoes would likely be used to hit coastal assets directly, perhaps even being "salted" with cobalt to make them extra "dirty."

"A division of special-purpose submarines armed with Poseidon nuclear-capable torpedoes is due to come into operation in the Russian Pacific Fleet by early 2025, a source close to the Defense Ministry told TASS on Monday," states the TASS report.

"The decision on setting up a division of nuclear-powered submarines in Kamchatka has been made. This will take place in December 2024 or in the first half of 2025," the source told TASS.

This comes after reports from Russian media in January that the first batch of "Poseidon" drone torpedoes, which used to be called the "Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System" or "Kanyon," had been successfully delivered.

Each "Poseidon" is nearly three times wider than a typical heavyweight torpedo, measuring 78.7 feet (24 meters) long and 5.2 feet (1.6 meters) in diameter. Reportedly, a nuclear reactor powers its quiet pump-jet propulsion system, and analysts believe this gives it almost infinite endurance. Also, according to Russian reports, it can supposedly dive 3,281 feet (1,000 meters) beyond the crush depth of U.S. Mark 48 torpedoes at 56 to 70 knots.

Each torpedo has a large nuclear warhead with a yield of about two megatons and a nuclear reactor that runs on liquid metal. If true, that would give each torpedo excellent range, endurance, and possibly high, almost limitless, sustained speeds.

A previous TASS article also stated the construction of coastal infrastructure for a new navy station to house the Belgorod and Khabarovsk special-purpose nuclear-powered submarines with Poseidon nuclear-capable super-torpedoes should be finished in the first quarter of 2019.

According to TASS, the new submarine division is expected to start operations at a facility on the Kamchatka Peninsula in either late 2024 or the first half of 2025. According to the best estimates, the division will comprise four or five submarines, each with 30 Poseidons.

The hulls of the Khabarovsk and Ulyanovsk, two of the four drone torpedo-carrying nuclear submarines planned, were laid down in 2014 and 2017, respectively. These are reportedly scheduled to be put into service in 2024, 2025, and 2027. Also known as "Project 09851" submarines, they share the silent pump jet propulsion system with Russia's most recent Borei-class ballistic missile submarine. However, they appear to be substantially shorter (down to 394 feet, or 120 meters long) variants of that submarine.

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