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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Russia begins testing of 'Poseidon' underwater nuclear drone

Iran Press TV

Wed Dec 26, 2018 03:57PM

Russia has started underwater trials of its mysterious Poseidon underwater nuclear drone, sources say, an state-of-the-art weapon that Russian President Vladimir Putin says is invincible.

Testing of the strategic weapon's nuclear propulsion system was underway in an undisclosed location under Russia's territorial waters, a source in the Russian military industry told state news agency TASS on Tuesday.

"In the sea area protected from a potential enemy's reconnaissance means, the underwater trials of the nuclear propulsion unit of the Poseidon drone are underway," the source added.

The reactor installed in the hull of the nuclear-tipped was undergoing experimental test and more work needed to be done before full-fledged sea trials at this stage, the source noted.

Designed to be launched from submarines, a Russian Navy nuclear-powered submarine moved the drone around for the purposes of the test, the source added.

The drone is included in Russia's state armament program for 2018-2027 and the Poseidon is expected to enter service before the program ends, the source added.

Putin unveiled the Poseidon, previously known as the Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System, in his state-of-the-nation address to the Russian parliament in March, saying it had rendered the NATO military alliance's US-made missile defenses "useless."

Back then, Putin said the program sought to develop a nuclear-powered unmanned underwater vehicle that could destroy enemy infrastructural facilities, aircraft carrier groups and other targets using both conventional and nuclear warheads.

According to earlier reports by TASS, the Poseidon could carry nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 2 megatonnes, enough to wipe out naval bases and other coastal military facilities.

Russia is planning to modernize its strategic and conventional weapons in reaction to US President Donald Trump's threats to withdraw from the Soviet-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which bans the two sides from developing land-based missile systems ranging from 310 to 3,400 miles.

Moscow has also accused the Trump administration of ignoring offers to renew the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which was signed in 2010.

The Trump administration has acknowledged the existence of the Poseidon in its Nuclear Posture Review, a report that calls for development of smaller tactical nuclear weapons as a deterrence against Russia's growing influence.

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