Russia is planning to build dozens of unmanned nuclear torpedoes (Image: GETTY, TASS)
RUSSIA is preparing sea trials for a fearsome nuclear torpedo capable of creating poisonous tsunamis 500 metres high.
By TOM NELLIST
PUBLISHED: 10:00, Sat, Feb 16, 2019
UPDATED: 16:08, Sat, Feb 16, 2019
Nicknamed ‘Poseidon’, the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) can deliver a thermonuclear cobalt bomb of up to 200 megatons, according to Russian state media. Detonation of such a bomb could be enough to create a tsunami wave 500 metres tall and poison miles of coastline. The source told Russian news agency TASS Moscow is waiting until the summer to begin the tests when waters will be warmer.
The unnamed source said: “The successful tests of Poseidon’s nuclear-powered energy unit opened the way to conducting at-sea factory tests of the vehicle.
“The tests will begin in favourable weather conditions this summer.”
America’s CIA has given the Russian torpedo the codename “Kanyon” and moved to brush away fears over its capability, saying it will not change the status quo as Russia already has missiles capable of striking US cities
However the autonomous underwater missile can operate at a maximum depth of one kilometre making it immune to air defence systems and raising fears it could be used without warning.
The Poseidon torpedo can travel at speeds of more than 120mph, or 107 knots per hour, and is powered by nuclear energy.
By comparison, regular nuclear armed submarines only travel 32 knots and normal torpedoes can fire at speeds of just 48 knots.
The nuclear bomb can travel at phenomenal speed compared to regular submarines and torpedoes (Image: TASS, Getty)
The nuclear torpedo is also powered by nuclear energy (Image: TASS, Getty)
The UUV’s power unit has already been tested at sea, according to a Russian defence industry source who said the trials took place in December.
That reactor has been attached to the hull of the operating vehicle to provide the torpedo with its phenomenal thrust.
The source said: “During the at-sea trials of the unmanned vehicle’s power unit, the previously declared specifications of its unlimited range of use and speed of over 200 kmph were confirmed.”
The torpedo’s power unit completed sea-trials successfully in December (Image: TASS)
TASS also reported a source as saying the torpedo will be carried by two submarines which are expected to enter service with the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet.
Two further Poseidon armed submarines will join Russia’s Pacific Fleet.
Each of the submarines are believed to be able to carry a maximum of eight of the underwater nuclear drones meaning the total number of Poseidon torpedoes could total 32.