A Russian strategic drone propelled by a miniaturized nuclear reactor is undergoing underwater trials, according to reports. The weapon, called Poseidon, is slated to become a new class of the country’s nuclear deterrence.
Poseidon, which was previously dubbed Status-6, was officially announced in March along with other upcoming weapon systems, meant to counter the development of anti-ballistic missile technologies by the US. It’s a long-range submersible drone capable of traveling at high speed deep underwater thanks to a miniaturized nuclear reactor.
According to a defense source cited on Wednesday by TASS, Poseidon is currently undergoing underwater trials as part of its development.
“The nuclear propulsion system of the Poseidon drone is currently being tested in a sea area protected from surveillance by the likely opponent,” the source said, using an old Soviet military term for the US and its NATO allies.
According to the source, the torpedo is carried by a nuclear-propelled submarine of the Russian Navy and that the developer hopes to complete the project before 2027.
The claimed reactor miniaturization technology that allows the creation of Poseidon is behind another weapon system, the development of which was announced this year – the intercontinental-range cruise missile Burevestnik.
Other weapons include a traditional-design Sarmat ICBM, a hypersonic air-launched ballistic missile, apparently meant to destroy aircraft carrier groups and similarly valuable targets, and a laser system of undisclosed purpose. The latter, some analysts believe, could be an anti-satellite weapon capable of disabling optical sensors in orbit.