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Russia may be preparing to test ‘Doomsday’ Poseidon torpedoes: CNN

  • Russia may be preparing to test a nuclear-powered Poseidon torpedo, CNN reported Thursday.
  • A U.S. official told the outlet that a Russian vessel was seen in test waters in the Arctic Ocean.
  • The Poseidon torpedo was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018.

Russia’s efforts to test its only nuclear-powered torpedo prototype may have hit a roadblock, US officials told CNN on Thursday.

Self-propelled torpedoes, or unmanned underwater vehicles, unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 claim to have unlimited range and carry nuclear warheads with up to 125 times the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It is popular mechanic.

“Unmanned submarines can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads, allowing them to engage a wide variety of targets, including aircraft fleets, coastal fortifications and infrastructure,” Putin said at the time. claimed to be invincible. “There is absolutely nothing in the world that can withstand them.”

All types of torpedoes are basically unstoppable. However, moving heavy objects through water, which has much more friction than air, has limitations due to range and speed issues. Russia’s claim to use nuclear power to propel Poseidon could solve this in an unprecedented way – if it actually works. told CNN that Russia appears to be having a hard time trying to confirm it.

In 2019, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a video that appeared to show an underwater test of the system. The system has been labeled a “doomsday” device due to its enormous potential payload and theoretical ability to generate a radioactive tsunami that could wipe out coastal cities.

Indeed, Russia’s attempts to build similar nuclear-powered missiles have so far failed, leading to an August 2019 explosion that killed at least five Russian engineers.

The latest apparent effort to test torpedoes comes at a time of growing concern over nuclear weapons, with the Russian president threatening to use them to threaten Western support for Ukraine.

However, attempts to test torpedoes in open water may have run into technical difficulties, and submarines capable of carrying torpedoes have been seen returning to port, according to CNN. Thanks to sanctions tensions and the war in Ukraine.

Some people are skeptical that the Poseidon torpedo would work, believing it impossible to reliably fit a working nuclear reactor to the size of a cruise missile. No country has yet succeeded.

Sheryl Loefer, a former nuclear scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, says Poseidon is a “boondoggle”, possibly intended to get the US to develop a similar (and expensive) system of its own. suggests.

“Although the military must take the potential of these weapons seriously, it is clear that they are far from practical,” she wrote in 2021.

Got a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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