The US and Russia are both developing many new weapons in preparation for a coming conflict. One the new weapons that Russia is working on is an underwater nuclear drone:
Russia will reportedly start at-sea factory trials of a nuclear-powered unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), also known as the Poseidon, sometime in the second half of 2019, a defense industry source told TASS.
“The successful tests of Poseidon’s nuclear-powered energy unit opened the way to conducting at-sea factory tests of the vehicle. The tests will begin in favorable weather conditions this summer,” the source said.
On February 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin reported that Russia’s new underwater drone had successfully completed a “key” stage of sea trials.
“A few days ago you informed be about completion of the key stage of trials of the unmanned multipurpose and strategic underwater combat vehicle Poseidon,” Putin was quoted as saying to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a meeting.
Putin first unveiled the drone propelled by a miniaturized nuclear reactor at his state-of-the-nation address to both houses of the Russian parliament in March 2018.
“In his state-of-the-nation address to both houses of Russia’s parliament on March 1, Russian President Putin mentioned for the first time the country’s efforts to develop a nuclear-powered unmanned underwater vehicle that can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and is capable of destroying enemy infrastructural facilities, aircraft carrier groups and other targets,” TASS said.
In December, we documented how the Russian Navy started underwater trials of the drone, which a source told TASS that, “in the sea area protected from a potential enemy’s reconnaissance means, the underwater trials of the nuclear propulsion unit of the Poseidon drone are underway.”
The Poseidon is a “new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo,” according to the 2018 US Nuclear Posture Review. The drone is a weapon of last resort. It will also function as a deterrent against Western forces.
Based on a 2015 classified Russian presentation slide, accidentally broadcasted on Russian state-run television station, the drone can travel at speeds of up to 60 to 185 mph, with a range of 6,200 miles and a maximum depth of 3,300 ft. The drone is cloaked by stealth technology to elude acoustic tracking devices. Its size has been estimated at 5 ft. wide and 78 ft. long. It can be fitted with a thermonuclear warhead with a layer of cobalt-59 yielding 100 megatons. However, new reports suggest only a two-megaton warhead.
The Russian Navy is expected to deploy over 30 Poseidon drones, a Russian defense source told TASS last month.
“Two Poseidon-carrying submarines are expected to enter service with the Northern Fleet and the other two will join the Pacific Fleet. Each of the submarines will carry a maximum of eight drones and, therefore, the total number of Poseidons on combat duty may reach 32 vehicles,” the source said.
The Poseidon is listed in Russia’s state armament program for 2018-2027, and the first drone is expected to deploy in the late 2020s. Each drone has the capability of destroying an entire Western naval base, a coastal city, and even a whole aircraft carrier battle group. (source, source)
This is actually a serious concern if one takes into consideration a military perspective.
Many would think that such an underwater drone would be a threat for having the capability to attack a major American city. However, this is actually not the reason it is such a concern.
Recall that I have emphasized America’s greatest weakness is her very geographic advantages that she possesses. Specifically, America is (1) very infrastructure-centric and (2) has a series of major natural structures that could cause serious damage to her. Two of such natural structures are the supervolcano out in Wyoming which is overdue for an eruption, and the New Madrid Fault line that is the Mississippi River and could physically split the US in half.
Another serious structure is the San Andreas Fault in California, which scientists admit is moving at a rate of 46 millimeters per year and eventually will bring the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles together, as the USGS states:
No, California is not going to fall into the ocean. California is firmly planted on the top of the earth’s crust in a location where it spans two tectonic plates. The San Andreas Fault System, which crosses California from the Salton Sea in the south to Cape Mendocino in the north, is the boundary between the Pacific Plate (that includes the Pacific Ocean) and North American Plate (that includes North America). These two plates are moving horizontally, slowly sliding past one another. The Pacific Plate is moving northwest with respect to the North American Plate at approximately 46 millimeters per year (the rate your fingernails grow). The strike-slip earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault are a result of this plate motion. There is nowhere for California to fall, however, Los Angeles and San Francisco will one day be adjacent to one another! (source)
Since much of the fault is located in the ocean off the coast of California, this poses an interesting idea to the malicious minded, specifically, what is somebody were to hit it with a very powerful weapon, such as a nuclear bomb?
It would have the potential to cause almost unimaginable harm, including possibly the destruction of either or both cities and an untold amount of other damage.
This is just for California. The State of Florida, which is one of the most heavily populated states and has significant economic and geostrategic importance, is built on porous limestone plateau, and is prone to sinkholes naturally:
One can only imagine if a strong, underwater weapon hit any part of Florida under water, as it could cause likewise untold damage to the state.
The damage in either case would not necessarily be perceived as an “attack”, but as a simple natural disaster, something that can, in classic American culture, be blamed on a variant of “uncontrollable” and “extenuating” circumstances instead of a particular thing.
America is a very blessed nation with many natural advantages. However, she is not immune from serious destruction. While there has never been a major war in modern times on American soil, there is nothing to say that such a potential situation could not arise, and for the good of the common man who will naturally be forced to endure circumstances that would come from this, it is to be watchful and prepare oneself in so far as his applies to his particular situation.
Russia has many problems, but she has survived much for centuries, carrying on as before. Would the people of the US be able to do even a small portion of the same?