Putin’s Nuclear Gambit: Russia’s First Batch of Poseidon Torpedoes
Russia Flexes Its Nuclear Muscles
Ramps Up Nuclear Threats When at a Disadvantage
Completes Production of ‘Doomsday Weapon’
Russia has a habit of ramping up the nuclear threat whenever it finds itself at a disadvantage or criticizes Western intervention. Last month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a briefing that while there are no immediate plans to change the nuclear doctrine, it is under continuous review, indicating a willingness to revise the rules for using nuclear weapons.
Previously, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated, “The U.S. has a concept of a preemptive strike and is developing a disarming strike system,” adding, “We are considering adopting this concept for security.” This has raised concerns in some quarters that Putin might actually press the nuclear button in a worst-case scenario. Russia has since announced the deployment of the hypersonic missile Zircon, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and recently reported the production of nuclear warheads to be mounted on super torpedoes.
Super Nuclear-Powered Torpedo Poseidon
To Be Mounted on Belgorod Submarine
According to foreign media reports citing anonymous Russian Defense Ministry sources, the first batch of nuclear warheads for the nuclear-powered torpedo ‘Poseidon,’ to be mounted on Russia’s nuclear-powered submarine Belgorod, has been produced. The source said, “The first set of Poseidon has been made and will be mounted on the Belgorod submarine in the near future.”
Last November, CNN reported that Russia’s Poseidon test launch seemed imminent, suggesting that Russia might face technical issues and that “a new torpedo test could increase the likelihood of Russia’s tactical nuclear use.” The source in the TASS news report stated that Poseidon had successfully completed a series of launch tests.
Tsunami Nearly 1,600 Feet High Possible
How Powerful is Poseidon?
Russian President Vladimir Putin first unveiled the Poseidon system in his 2018 State of the Nation address. At the time, he described it as extremely quiet and maneuverable, saying, “There are no weapons in the world today that can counter it.” Indeed, the Poseidon torpedo, being nuclear-powered, has an unlimited range and is known to be stealthy as it can operate at extreme depths.
A NATO report speculated that the Poseidon nuclear torpedo could generate a nuclear tsunami up to 1,600 feet (about 487 meters) high, earning it the moniker ‘Doomsday Weapon.’ A U.S. Congressional Research Service report analyzed that the Poseidon torpedo is intended for nuclear counterattacks by Russia. H.I. Sutton, a U.S. submarine expert, explained, “This nuclear mega-torpedo is unique in world history and will completely change Russia and Western naval plans, creating new counter-weapons.”
“No Need for the Devil”
With formidable nuclear weapons like Zircon and Poseidon in its arsenal, Russia is expected to continue its nuclear threats. Last month, Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian National Security Council, questioned in an op-ed, “Is the West ready to start a full-scale war, including a nuclear one, against us with the hands of Ukraine?” As Western countries are expanding their weapons support range, the level of rhetoric is likely to escalate.