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Russia’s new underwater drone – a ‘doomsday’ weapon

Pentagon confirms existence of Russian ‘doomsday’ weapon, A NEW weapon of immense destructive power is now in Russia’s hands — and the rest of the world should be worried, particularly the United States., James Law@JournoLawJ 17 Jan 18

THE Pentagon has confirmed that Russia has developed an unmanned underwater nuclear drone that has the potential to devastate US ports and harbours, according to a leaked government report.

The revelation is one of many alarming findings in a draft version of the US’s Nuclear Posture Review due for release next month.

The paper, published by the Huffington Post, argues that America has been left exposed because Russia has continued to develop nukes since the end of the Cold War, while the US has reduced their role in its security strategy.

The US Defence Department cites this risk — combined with growing military threats from China, North Korea and Iran — to argue for increased spending on nuclear weapons.

Russia has embarked on a “comprehensive modernisation” of its nuclear arsenal, the paper says.

Russia’s strategic nuclear modernisation has increased and will continue to increase its warhead delivery capacity, and provides Russia with the ability to rapidly expand its deployed warhead numbers,” the draft paper states.

In addition to modernising ‘legacy’ Soviet nuclear systems, Russia is developing and deploying new nuclear warheads and launchers.

These efforts include multiple upgrades for every leg of the Russian nuclear triad of strategic bombers, sea-based missiles, and land-based missiles.

Russia is also developing at least two new intercontinental range systems, a hypersonic glide vehicle and a new intercontinental nuclear-armed undersea autonomous torpedo.”

The mention of the “torpedo” is the first time the Pentagon has publicly confirmed the existence of the weapon, referred to elsewhere in the document as a “AUV”, or autonomous underwater vehicle.

Russia first teased that it was working on the weapon in 2015 when blueprints of the drone were filmed over the shoulder of general during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin and broadcast on state television.

Experts argued at the time that the exposure of the plans wasn’t an accident; it was a deliberate warning to Washington and the rest of the West.

The Russian blueprint claims that the weapon, known officially as Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6, has a range of 10,000km, can descend 1km below sea level and can reach a top speed faster than 56 knots. It is designed to carry a 100-megaton nuclear warhead.

According to a BBC translation of the plans, the drone is designed to “destroy important economic installations of the enemy in coastal areas and cause guaranteed devastating damage to the country’s territory by creating wide areas of radioactive contamination, rendering them unusable for military, economic or other activity for a long time”.

While the Pentagon has admitted the risks of the Russians having this technology, there is no mention in the Nuclear Posture Review of the US developing a similar nuclear-tipped weapon.

US intelligence agencies detected that Russia tested the drone when it was launched from a Sarov-class submarine in 2016, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Status-6 is designed to kill civilians by massive blast and fallout,” former Pentagon official Mark Schneider told the Free Beacon at the time.

The Russian government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported that to achieve ‘extensive radioactive contamination’ the weapon ‘could envisage using the so-called cobalt bomb, a nuclear weapon designed to produce enhanced amounts of radioactive fallout compared to a regular atomic warhead.

A cobalt bomb is a ‘doomsday’ weapons concept conceived during the Cold War, but apparently never actually developed.”

The weapon could be used to threaten the US’s two nuclear missile submarine bases in Georgia and Washington state………

The paper ultimately argues for increased investment in the US’s nuclear triad — which consists of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), strategic bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

The Defence Department’s “top priority” is to secure an additional 3 to 4 per cent of its budget to maintain its nuclear arsenal, which it says is essential to deter attacks from enemies.

Our goal is to convince adversaries they have nothing to gain and everything to lose from the use of nuclear weapons,” Mr Mattis writes.

He suggests continuing the weapons modernisation program started by the Obama administration to replace nuclear ballistic missile submarines, strategic bombers, nuclear air-launched cruise missiles and ICBMs. He also expresses the aim to boost investment in nuclear weapons laboratories, fighter bombers and F-35A fighter jets.

This aim fits with reports last year that US President Donald Trump told military chiefs he wanted a nearly tenfold increase in the country’s nuclear arsenal


January 17, 2018 - Posted by | Russia, weapons and war

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