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Meet the Poseidon: Russia’s Nuclear Torpedo Could Change Everything

Russian nuclear submarine. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Putin‘s nuclear torpedo could be a game-changer. Thank god he doesn’t have it just yet: The most dangerous drone planned for the Russian military in the coming years is the Poseidon, which is slated to come into service in 2027. While several years away in development, the weapon is chilling. It is an undersea drone launched from a submarine that is equipped with a nuclear warhead of up to two megatons.

The drone will be powered by nuclear-propulsion so the Russian navy will not have to worry about it running out of fuel. If the nuclear plant becomes operational it could have unlimited range.

Doomsday Drone to Threaten American Coastal Cities

The Poseidon has already been nicknamed the “Doomsday Drone.”

It can traverse the North Atlantic autonomously.

Russia eventually wants 16 Poseidon drones on duty with Russia’s Northern Fleet that can be launched in the Atlantic at U.S. cities on the East Coast.

The Kremlin believes the Poseidon will be much more difficult to eliminate than land-based ICBM launchers.

A total of 30 Poseidons could enter service.

It’s as Big as a Bus

This gigantic nuclear torpedo can be on alert to be assigned a location to hit at any time.

The doomsday drone is the size of a bus at around 7 tons.

It has been viewed on satellite imagery this year at the Severodvinsk shipyard on the Northern Dvina River on the edge of the White Sea.

The development of the Poseidon is in parallel with the submarine K-329 Belgorod, which is in testing phase. The Belgorod is based on the Oscar II-class nuclear attack boat and will be longest sub in the world. With a maximum speed of 32-knots, the Belgorod could carry up to six Poseidon drones. It also has another mini-sub mated to its hull. An additional submarine that will carry the Poseidon is the Khabarovsk which is being constructed close by and scheduled for delivery in 2023. The Russians eventually want four Poseidon-capable subs.

Could It Really Be Nuclear-Powered?

The Poseidon has been tested at least 11 times but these are mainly trials on its autonomous systems and not on nuclear-propulsion.

Can the Russians actually build a mini-nuclear reactor and mount in on a torpedo? This remains to be seen. Even if the Russians cannot make the power plant nuclear the Poseidon would still have value as an underwater drone. This could maybe even collect intelligence and conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions. And if quiet enough, it could operate close to the United States shore.

Putin’s Super Weapon Would Maybe Not Fall Under New START Limitations

Vladimir Putin called the Poseidon a “super weapon,” in a 2018 speech describing Russian advances in its nuclear triad. It will be an intercontinental strategic launcher perhaps not covered by the limitations of the New START agreement with the United States.

No cost estimates of the Poseidon have been forthcoming. The Russians are not known for the success of long-term expensive naval acquisition programs. Their aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov has struggled mightily over the years. But the Poseidon is a troubling concept, and if successful, could add a dominant dimension to its nuclear strategy against the United States.

1945’s new Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.

Written By

Now serving as 1945s New Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer.



  1. Steven C Stone

    March 27, 2022 at 10:02 am

    Well, it truly would be the doomsday weapon..any nuke strike on America,and the game is over. All weapons will fly and mankind is history..Putin and the rich will be deep underground in their well stocked tombs..never to see the light of the sun ever again.i guess to Putin that’s a win.

  2. Worley tonnie

    March 27, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    Well leave it to dumbo and his litter ,to play with his fiddle while america burns

  3. K. Lawrence

    March 27, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    Yes, Trump is nothing if not “Dumbo”. He had access to full intelligence briefings regarding this Putin wet dream for his entire presidency. Of course since he had frequently stated his disdain for reading or even hearing things that he didn’t like, he may not have been paying attention (there would have also been some big words and historical references that would have confused him). Perhaps he may have eaten or attempted to make such material “disappear” by flushing it down a toilet. Regardless, his long-standing “love affair” and oft mentioned admiration for the former KGB agent and Baader-Meinhof Group sponsor likely would have diverted his attention from intelligence reports regarding an existential threat to the very nation he was sworn to protect. Instead of calling Putin on the record for developing an unprecedented doomsday weapon at Helsinki; he fawned, stammered, cowered, and figuratively kissed the tyrant’s ass.

    • Jack Sparrow

      April 25, 2022 at 5:39 pm

      Well this is nice to see … over at yaaa whoooo ? …. they block you if you mention the south end of a North bound donkey

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