The notion is horrendous to ponder.
A nuclear torpedo drone creeps alongside the ocean ground, slipping beneath coastal missile defences and detonating with catastrophic impact near New York.
An unlimited wall of water rises from the ocean, tearing via town, obliterating all in its wake and leaving the realm flooded with poisonous radioactivity.
When he unveiled plans for his newest navy nightmare a number of years in the past, everybody thought Vladimir Putin was bluffing.
Able to devastating an enormous stretch of shoreline with a multi-megaton warhead, the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo would set off a series of lethal radioactive tsunamis that might smash into cities and cities leaving them uninhabitable for many years.
This ‘doomsday nuke’ or ‘apocalypse torpedo’ appeared simply the form of tremendous weapon that the sabre-rattling Russian chief would dream as much as scare the wits out of opponents and bend them to his will.
On the time, U.S. officers and defence specialists dismissed it as fantasy.
However now the grim reality has emerged from the melting Arctic ice: Russia actually is growing the Poseidon, sending a chill via the West.
The Poseidon 2M39 torpedo would set off a series of lethal radioactive tsunamis that might smash into cities and cities leaving them uninhabitable for many years. Pictured: Putin
The Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drone is seen being test-launched someplace in Russia
No less than three submarines tailored to hold the big torpedoes are already being examined within the Arctic the place the Putin regime is constructing an ominous navy presence.
The area was as soon as iced up and un-navigable, however the ice is melting and it has grow to be essential to Russia’s financial plan to open and management a northern delivery route from Europe to Asia.
The gradual disappearance of the ice barrier has additionally uncovered the navy vulnerability of Russia’s as soon as impenetrable northern border.
Putin needs the 2M39 deployed within the Arctic by the summer time of 2022 and, in line with Russian media stories, has requested his defence ministry to maintain him carefully knowledgeable of checks that began in February and can proceed this yr.
The existence of proposals for the 2M39 had been first revealed, reportedly on objective, by a Russian common in 2015 who was photographed chatting to Putin whereas carrying plans for the supposedly top-secret weapon.
Three years later, Putin introduced that Russia was growing the torpedo in a bombastic speech through which animated photographs confirmed nuclear warheads dropping on the U.S.
Whereas sceptics dismissed the Poseidon as a ‘paper tiger’ supposed to place the wind up the West, some defence specialists insisted there was merely an excessive amount of proof that this mission was in lethal earnest.
They pointed to proof that Moscow was expensively modifying submarines, becoming giant underwater hangar doorways as an alternative of typical torpedo tubes, so they might be able to launching such enormous missiles.
Few now imagine Poseidon is a fable, though the exact capabilities and feasibility of such a mega-torpedo stay a topic of intense debate.
In 2019, an apparently innocuous video was posted on YouTube of a Russian oceanographic analysis ship finishing sea trials close to the Arctic.
A clip emerged in 2019 displaying the Poseidon – seen by navy officers as an enormous nuclear-capable torpedo – throughout a launch check
Putin needs the 2M39 deployed within the Arctic by the summer time of 2022 and, in line with Russian media stories, has requested his defence ministry to maintain him carefully knowledgeable of checks that began in February and can proceed this yr. Pictured: Russia’s Arctic Nagurskoye Air Base
Sharp-eyed navy specialists noticed on its deck a Poseidon torpedo, prompting hypothesis that the weapon was designed to be launched from the seabed — onto which it may very well be lowered from the aspect of the vessel — in addition to from a submarine.
That possibility, which avoids the potential for the sub being positioned and destroyed earlier than the torpedo might be launched, will surely be doable.
And because it has its personal energy plant on board — in impact, appearing like an underwater drone — the torpedo’s vary is just about limitless though some have estimated it at 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles).
What is thought with certainty is that the Poseidon is the most important torpedo ever constructed.
Greater than 6ft in diameter and 65ft lengthy, the remotely-controlled weapon is 30 occasions the dimensions of a typical heavy torpedo and estimated to weigh 100 tons.
It’s each nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered. In comparison with inter-continental ballistic missiles, it’s more likely to be comparatively gradual, needing hours to succeed in a goal.
A velocity of as much as 80mph from a pump that makes use of a jet of water for propulsion is regarded as possible.
Western specialists are doubtful about Russian claims that it travels at greater than 120mph underwater, saying the expertise wanted for this velocity would make the torpedo so loud as to be simply detectable.
And it’s detectability — or the dearth of it — that’s the key to this weapon’s terrifying potential. It has the benefit of full stealth because it hugs the seabed to get previous missile defences. Russian sources have described the torpedo as nearly unstoppable.
And when it reaches its goal, there’s the query of its city- pulverising potential. Final November, Christopher A. Ford, then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Worldwide Safety and Non-Proliferation, described the Poseidon as designed to ‘inundate U.S. coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis’.
The scientific phenomenon of big waves breaking whereas nonetheless far out at sea, referred to as the Van Dorn Impact, is well-known and the thought of an enormous nuclear torpedo able to creating such waves was investigated by the U.S. as way back because the Chilly Battle.
Nonetheless, U.S. Navy research within the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties concluded that the majority of a mega-wave’s power is dissipated when it breaks on the continental shelf earlier than reaching shore, in order that they had been thought-about lower than superb weapons.
That stated, the Poseidon was initially described as carrying a 100-megaton warhead — greater even than the Soviets’ air-dropped Tsar Bomba, essentially the most highly effective nuclear weapon ever examined.
With that form of payload, the explosion might produce an enormous tsunami far offshore, which means the Poseidon wouldn’t even must get near a goal metropolis to destroy it.
No less than three submarines tailored to hold the big torpedoes are already being examined within the Arctic the place the Putin regime is constructing an ominous navy presence
In accordance with TASS, Russia’s state-controlled information company, nonetheless, the nation’s navy now say it will likely be armed with a much smaller two-megaton warhead — at 133 occasions the facility of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima nonetheless devastating however, say some specialists, unlikely to be sturdy sufficient to create a tsunami offshore.
Whereas Russian claims about Poseidon shift on a regular basis, Western defence chiefs admit that they’re deeply involved by something that may launch a nuclear assault with out even being noticed by their missile defence techniques.
Vice Admiral Nils Andreas Stensones, who as head of Norwegian Intelligence is fixated by Russian strikes within the Arctic, ominously informed CNN that Poseidon was ‘aimed toward targets… and has an affect far past the area through which they check it at the moment’.
U.S. Authorities sources, who say they’re monitoring developments there ‘very carefully’, warn that Russian management of the Arctic would enable it to increase its energy into the North Atlantic — and that might be a deeply alarming growth for the UK.
It has been reported that Russia plans to equip its Northern Fleet with 30 Poseidon torpedoes. No one is reassured by the nation’s insistence that its designs within the Arctic are peaceable.
It’s pinning its financial hopes on opening up the area to delivery and is already demanding that tankers passing via the realm get Russian permission and use Russian pilots.
In the meantime, defence analysts say that submarines are the one actual instrument the place the Kremlin has any hope of levelling the enjoying area with a militarily superior U.S.
Now there is no such thing as a doubt that Poseidon exists, specialists predict it will likely be used to ‘scare’ the West and sure be used as a bargaining chip in arms management talks.
With Russia already testing the submarines that might carry Poseidon, and given Moscow’s dismal observe document with regards to navy mishaps, environmental specialists concern dire nuclear contamination of the ocean after they come to check the torpedo, too.
In Hollywood’s Conflict Of The Titans, if not in precise Greek mythology, Poseidon, god of the seas, releases the monstrous sea creature the Kraken to destroy town of Argos by creating an enormous tidal wave.
President Putin could also be hoping his NATO opponents keep in mind the movie as they reply to the brand new underwater menace.