Russia reportedly produces first batch of Poseidon Nuclear Torpedoes

It is one of Russia's super weapons.
Ameya Paleja
Poseidon nuclear-capable super torpedo.
Poseidon nuclear-capable super torpedo.

Russian Ministry of Defence/Youtube 

A report circulated by the TASS news agency claims that Russia has completed the production of the first batch of 'nuclear-capable' Poseidon torpedoes. The torpedoes are scheduled to be delivered to the Russian Navy's Belgorod submarine, the world's largest.

The news comes close on the heels of another report of Russian supremacy in arms and ammunition after the military declared that it was sending its Tsirkon hypersonic missile to combat service to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

As an arms supplier to a large number of countries, Russia is considered to be at the forefront of weapons technology. However, its claims have appeared hollow during its nearly year-long invasion of Ukraine since its advances have been cut down by arms supplied by the West.

The Poseidon

In such an environment, the news about a new torpedo can easily be waived off as another Russian exaggeration. However, the design of the Poseidon isn't meant for naval warfare alone. With capabilities of carrying a nuclear powerplant, the Poseidon is a much-feared weapon and is, therefore, among the list of superweapons that President Vladimir Putin has spoken about in the past.

A product from the Rubin Design Bureau, the largest submarine design center in Russia, the Poseidon, was developed under the codename Status-6. At a length of 65.6 feet (20 m) and with a 15 MW nuclear-powered engine, the Poseidon is larger than just a torpedo and assumes the form of an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that can be launched from a submarine.

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With a maximum speed of 100 knots (115 mph, 185 kph) and the ability to dive to a depth of 3,280 feet (one km), the Poseidon is an autonomous vehicle that can cruise for long periods in the ocean and then launch a sudden attack.

Attack of the Poseidon

The Poseidon is meant to attack coastal installations and can be equipped with a nuclear warhead that can avoid existing missile defense systems. Apart from unleashing thermonuclear destruction, Poseidon's warhead is also designed to spread the radioactive contamination over a wide area.

Worse still, the UUV can be detonated physically away from its actual target further out in the sea to unleash a radioactive tsunami that could spread contamination over larger areas.

The Poseidon is initially designed to be fired off the Belgorod, the world's largest submarine that Russia states will be used for research purposes only. As per reports, the submarine that is working to advance underwater nuclear warfare can carry up to six Poseidon systems.

In the wake of the claims that Poseidon's production has been completed, the next question that warrants an answer is whether its nuclear warhead is ready. The TASS recently also reported that Belgorod was testing the Poseidon weapon, The War Zone said in its report. Experts told The War Zone that these were likely ejection tests to ensure that the UUV left the submarine but did not involve powering up the nuclear reactor on it.

Even if the nuclear warheads are ready, it could still be a few years before Russia can introduce the Poseidon into combat roles since the crew needs to be trained on operating a nuclear-powered, nuclear-tipped vehicle weapon, the first of its kind.

The entire claim could just be to deter the West from helping out Ukraine. But it will also be hard to call this bluff anytime soon.