Russia has released a video of its Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drone that can be launched from a submarine and carry nuclear warheads.
The clip emerged after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Poseidon – seen by military officials as a giant nuclear-capable torpedo – had been undergoing successful tests.
Details of its high speed 125mph underwater propulsion system are regarded as top secret. 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.
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.
“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.