The Poseidon is a new Russian Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) with a nuclear propulsion system and nuclear warhead. Essentially it is an autonomous nuclear torpedo that has an unlimited range. Soviets began development of this weapon back in 1989.
The Poseidon is a new Russian Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) with a nuclear propulsion system
and nuclear warhead. Essentially it is an autonomous nuclear torpedo that has an unlimited range. Soviets began the development of this weapon back in 1989.
However, development was stopped due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold war, and in the light of nuclear disarmament. However recently development was reviewed in Russia. In 2015 information on this weapon was deliberately disclosed by the Russian MoD.
Initially, this project seemed to be too fantastical to be real. However, in 2016 Pentagon reports confirmed the existence of this nuclear-powered UUV. During the same year, Russia conducted its tests. In 2018 the Russian nuclear UUV was officially named the Poseidon. Prior to that, this ωɛλρσɳ was known under various names, including Kanyon and Status-6
It is scheduled to become operational in 2027. Once this ωɛλρσɳ is in service Russia will have a new type of nuclear ωɛλρσɳ delivery system. It is clear that Russia devoted significant resources for this nuclear UUV program.
The Poseidon was designed to be carried and launched by submarines. Its main role is to engage strategic enemy targets, such as carrier battle groups and naval bases. The Poseidon will approach its targets and will detonate its nuclear warhead.
This UUV can carry a nuclear warhead with a blast yield of 2 MT. Though it is possible that the blast yield could be more powerful. This UUV reportedly has a range of 5 200 nautical miles (10 000 km). In 2019 Russian news agencies reported that Poseidon uses supercavitation and can reach an underwater speed of a whopping 108 knots (200 km/h).
That’s significantly faster than torpedoes can travel. Furthermore, it is planned that Poseidons will operate at depths of 1 000 m, making them difficult to intercept. Furthermore, there are some indications that this UUV can operate under the Arctic ice pack, where it is much harder to detect and engage. So considering its capabilities the Poseidon UUV can be a tough nut to intercept.
A special ωɛλρσɳs ship Zvezdochka (pennant number 600) is involved in Poseidon’s testing. It is used to retrieve Poseidon UUVs. Interestingly this ship has an ice-breaking bow and can operate in the Arctic.
This UUV uses a nuclear propulsion system with a pumpjet propulsor.
It uses an internal guidance system, possibly with an external mission update. It is also fitted with an obstacle avoidance sonar.
Some sources report that a Russian special-purpose submarine Sarov was used for testing the Poseidon. It is speculated that Sarov can launch these UUVs.
Another submarine built specially to launch the Poseidons is Belgorod. Since 2012 this incomplete Russia’s Oscar II class cruise missile submarine is being converted to a special purpose submarine. Its main role will be to carry the Poseidon UUVs. The Belgorod was launched in 2019 and is planned that this boat will be commissioned in 2020-2021. It can carry 6 Poseidon UUVs.
Russian Navy ordered 4 Khabarovsk class nuclear-powered submarines. Each boat of this class will also carry 6 Poseidon UUVs. The lead boat was laid down in 2014.