Is Russia’s ‘doomsday’ torpedo really as powerful as advertised?

The Poseidon nuclear torpedo (once known as the Status-6 unmanned submarine) is Russia’s revolutionary strategic strike weapon, but is it really an extraordinary weapon like its predecessors?

The Poseidon nuclear torpedo is one of five new-generation strategic weapons, first mentioned in the State of the Union address of Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018.

according to the introduction, The weapon has an unlimited range thanks to being equipped with a small nuclear reactor and extremely low operating noise, making all enemy hydroacoustic reconnaissance vehicles unrecognizable.

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Poseidon is designed to carry a thermonuclear warhead with an explosive yield of up to 100 MT, capable of generating a tsunami 500 m high, wiping out an entire stretch of coastline and causing prolonged radioactive contamination. called the “Doomsday Torpedo”.

However, the 100 MT figure is considered to be exaggerated, because even the largest thermonuclear bomb of the Soviet Union Tsar Bomba has only half the explosive power, so the overwhelming majority considers the actual power. of the warhead that Poseidon carried at 2 MT.

Another questionable problem with the Poseidon torpedo is that according to Russia’s statement, it has an unlimited range, which means it can be deployed from a secret base in the country’s territorial waters to increase the probability of overtaking. the entire enemy’s sentinel system.

Poseidon nuclear torpedo
Poseidon nuclear torpedo

But the fact that Poseidon requires to be integrated into the super-large nuclear submarine Belgorod – Project 09852, shows that its range is limited, leading to suspicion that it is not equipped with a mini nuclear reactor.

Not stopping here, Russia said that Poseidon’s speed is up to an incredible 107 knots (200 km/h), while high-speed torpedoes can currently only reach 48 knots. , which is less than half.

According to Russia’s explanation, the reason Poseidon’s speed is so high is because it applies the exclusive super-cavity technology that the country has applied on the famous VA-111 Shkval attack torpedo.

VA-111 Shkval attack torpedo.
VA-111 Shkval attack torpedo.

It should be recalled that Russia’s most feared super-cavity torpedo with the designation VA-111 Shkval has a very high speed thanks to a special part that creates a large air bubble covering the entire body when traveling to somewhere.

Thus, in fact, the VA-111 Shkval torpedo does not touch any water but as if it is flying in the air, the secret to accelerating the speed is by minimizing the drag of the water.

However, applying super-cavity technology on Poseidon is considered impossible, because the characteristic of Shkval torpedo is that it cannot change course, but only moves in a straight line, due to any change in direction. which will lead to the bursting of the air bubble.

Meanwhile, Poseidon on his very long journey had to constantly change direction to evade the enemy, not to mention the super-cavity torpedo with very loud noise, unable to be as quiet as what Russia advertised.

In addition, when large air bubbles cover an object moving in the water, it will not be able to use the sensors to identify external hazards, in stark contrast to what Russia introduces.

In short, Russia’s “Doomsday torpedo” Poseidon will still take a long time to prove that the supernatural features it carries are real, not just “psychological attacks”.

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