The Russian Defense Ministry has released the first video ever showing an underwater ‘field-test’ of the Poseidon, a huge robotic nuclear-capable mini-submarine with a miniature nuclear reactor.
The strategic uber-torpedo was hauled inside a transport container, which mimics the storage compartment of an actual submarine playing mothership to the Poseidon. The weapon is then deployed out of the container underwater.
The Poseidon, previously known by its code name Status-6, is part of Russia’s future strategic nuclear deterrence capability. The drone is meant to be carried by a regularly manned submarine and deployed when necessary.
The weapon uses its on-board mini nuclear reactor to slowly approach enemy territory at low speed deep underwater.
If sensing detection, it can greatly boost its speed at the expense of noise and simply outrun its pursuer before going back into stealth mode. Once at its target, it can detonate the nuclear payload, devastating a valuable enemy asset like a naval base or an aircraft carrier group.
Russia publicly acknowledged the development of the weapon system last year, when President Vladimir Putin announced work on several strategic weapon systems meant to counter US attempts to undermine Russian nuclear deterrence capability.
The footage released on Wednesday shows for the first time the Poseidon system under water. The Defense Ministry also announced that the so-called ‘field test’ phase of the weapon system was successfully finished.
The presumed intended carriers for the Poseidon are the project 09851/09853 submarines. The first such sub will be ready for service this year, according to Putin.