Russia is developing a powerful underwater drone that can carry a nuclear warhead with a capacity of up to 2 megatonnes to destroy enemy naval bases, TASS reports. “It will be possible to mount various nuclear charges on the ‘torpedo’ of the Poseidon multipurpose seaborne system, with the thermonuclear single warhead similar to the Avangard charge to have the maximum capacity of up to 2 megatonnes in TNT equivalent,” a source in the Russian defense sector was quoted as saying on Thursday.
With its nuclear munition, the Poseidon “is primarily designed to destroy reinforced naval bases of a potential enemy,” the source said.
Thanks to its nuclear powerplant, the Poseidon will approach the target for an intercontinental range at a depth of over 1 km and at a speed of 60-70 knots (110-130 km/h), the source said.
According to the report, the Poseidon drone will join the Russian Navy under the existing armament program for 2018-2027 and will be carried by a new specialized submarine currently under construction at the Sevmash Shipyard.
Unveiled on March 1, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Sergei Korolyov had said that the new weapon would enable the fleet to accomplish a broad range of missions in waters adjacent to the enemy territory. According to the chief naval commander, the trials of the drone’s basic element, the small-sized nuclear powerplant, have already been carried out.