Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency quoted a source in the Russian defense industry on 12 January as saying that two Poseidon-carrying submarines are expected to enter service with the Northern Fleet and the other two will join the Pacific Fleet. Each of the submarines will carry a maximum of eight drones and, therefore, the total number of on combat duty may reach 32 vehicles.
The special-purpose nuclear-powered submarine Khabarovsk currently being built at the Sevmash Shipyard will become one of the organic carriers of the Poseidon nuclear-capable underwater drone. Also, special-purpose submarines and Project 949A nuclear-powered underwater cruisers operational in the Russian Navy may be used as the carriers “after their appropriate upgrade,” the source noted.
TASS has no official confirmation of this information.
Early also was reported that the maximum speed of the Poseidon drone will be more than 107 kt (200 km/h), the maximum depth at which it can move is more than one kilometer. For comparison, the maximum speed of modern nuclear submarines is 32 kt, torpedoes – 48 kt.
The Poseidon, also known under Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6 or “Kanyon” by the U.S. intelligence community, is a new Russian strategic drone propelled by a miniaturized nuclear reactor.
The Poseidon is designed to create a tsunami wave up to 500 metres (1,600 ft) tall, which would contaminate a wide area on an enemy’s coast with radioactive isotopes, as well as being immune to anti-missile defence systems such as anti-ballistic missiles, laser weapons and railguns that might disable an ICBM or a SLBM.