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Old 11-08-2019, 12:48 PM
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Arrow Russia's 100-Megaton Doomsday Torpedo: Trump's Worst Military Nightmare?

Russia's 100-Megaton Doomsday Torpedo: Trump's Worst Military Nightmare?
By: Michael Peck - National Interest - 11-8-19
Re: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...ightmare-94746

Note: Russia is not playing to win, just not to lose.

Key point: With no comparable system, a new generation of torpedoes may be needed.

Question: How do you stop a nuclear-powered torpedo designed to bury enemy cities under a tsunami?

Russia's Status-6 "Poseidon" torpedo has excited the fears -- or the overactive imaginations -- of Russia's enemies. Calling it is a torpedo is a misnomer. While the precise capabilities of the weapon are mysterious, it appears to be about 80 feet long -- which makes it more like a mini-submarine or an underwater ballistic missile. Poseidon is propelled by a nuclear reactor to a speed of 115 miles per hour and operates at deep depths up to 3,300 feet. It is armed with a massive 100-megaton warhead powerful enough to generate a giant tidal wave to destroy coastal cities.

How useful such a weapon would be is debatable. Poseidon is too slow, compared to ICBMs and bombers, to be useful in a first strike or an immediate retaliatory strike. Moving at high speeds may make it so noisy that anti-submarine can detect it, and its autonomous nature brings up all the questions about armed robots (especially ones carrying mega-bombs).

Nonetheless, as a psychological weapon, it's brilliant. There is something frightening, like a Hollywood monster movie, about the thought of a robot tsunami-bomb creeping along the sea floor.

But for every vampire, there is a stake waiting to slay it through the heart. H I Sutton, a naval analyst who runs the Covert Shores blog on naval affairs, offers some ideas on technology that NATO can employ to halt Poseidon.

Sutton assumes that Poseidon's "operating modes and route planning will likely be simple (read reliable) and relatively direct, relying on speed and depth for survival." That being the case, one countermeasure would be to seed the seabed with networks of sensor-mines to detect and destroy Poseidons. "Ideally the sensor networks would include their own effectors (e.g. torpedo armed mines) to minimize the delay from detection to neutralization, since the targets will be moving much faster than traditional submarine targets," Sutton writes.

Sutton also wonders whether Poseidons could be killed by long-range hypersonic glide vehicles launched by U.S. Navy submarines. "The payload could be next-generation lightweight torpedo or nuclear depth charge similar to the retired Subroc [rocket-launched anti-submarine torpedo] weapon," he writes. "The short flight time and long range of this type of system would allow kills far outside realistic ranges for torpedoes and allow submarines operating in the North Atlantic to react to Poseidon launches detected in the Arctic region, hitting the target while it is still reasonably near to the sensor which detected it."

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Personal note: I would say the US could build one (if not already) and inturn hit all port entries into which military ships would dock. It's an interesting concept and many ships have to dock somewhere. Blowing up their ports would surely do damage to further action and getting supplies. Tsunami's at all ports of entry and exit would surely impede resupply of many countries. Generating a Tsunami 100' high would surely make things very difficult for all countries that have ports of entry.

Not a pretty picture but they would be targets and disrupt alot material movements and supplies being shuttled to vessels at sea.

Boats
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