Russia’s “apocalypse” weapon is real

Weapons experts and Western officials are expressing “particular concern” about a new Russian “super-weapon,” a reactor-powered stealth torpedo called the “Poseidon” designed to sneak past coastal defenses and “inundate U.S. coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis,” CNN reported on Monday, April 5, 2021. Read story here.

In 2019, Popular Mechanics called it “an apocalypse weapon” that would bypass missile defenses (read story here) but said, “As is the case with all hyped Russian military hardware, the big question comes down to how much of it is real,” while noting “such a weapon is certainly possible, at least in theory.”

Fast forward to 2021: “Experts agree that the weapon is ‘very real’ and already coming to fruition,” CNN said.

Norwegian intelligence assesses the weapon as a “nuclear deterrent … strategic system.”

But The National Interest, a U.S. magazine with a conservative viewpoint, argued in January 2021 that the Russian military “couldn’t care less” about the Poseidon because it’s militarily useless, either as a city-buster or an aircraft carrier killer. Read that article here. Then one must ask, why is Putin building it?

Its obvious utility, as an alternative to ICBMs, is that the U.S. can’t see it coming on radar (and sonar?), and can’t shoot it down. Like Russia’s hypersonic ICBM warheads under development, it’s designed to penetrate U.S. missile defenses, and appears to be a response to U.S. anti-ballistic missile (ABM) programs.

A weapon of this type is uniquely suited for attacking the U.S., which has numerous major cities on coastlines facing open ocean. Russia, a mostly landlocked country, has almost none, and most of Europe’s major cities are inland.

No longer theoretical, the weapon is now being built and tested.

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  1. Mark Adams #

    The greatest problem with the super weapon is command and control. This weapon is like the doomsday bomb of the movie Dr. Strangelove. [This comment has been edited.]

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    Presumably there isn’t any c&c once they launch it. But that’s true of ICBMs, too. It’s not Strangelovian if we know they have it. Its obvious purpose is to counter U.S. antimissile defenses. The biggest criticism of the concept is how long it takes to reach the target zone.