Moscow: The Russian Navy plans to place more than 30 Poseidon strategic nuclear-capable underwater drones on combat duty, a source in the domestic defense industry said.
“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 Tass news agency reported.
The special-purpose nuclear-powered submarine Khabarovsk currently being built at the Sevmash Shipyard will become one of the organic carriers of the Poseidon nuclear-capable underwater drone. Also, special-purpose submarines and Project 949A nuclear-powered underwater cruisers operational in the Russian Navy may be used as the carriers “after their appropriate upgrade,” the source noted.
In his state-of-the-nation address to both houses of Russia’s parliament on March 1, Russian President Vladimir 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.
Poseidon drones together with their carriers – nuclear-powered submarines – make part of the so-called oceanic multipurpose system. The drone got its name following the results of open voting on the website of Russia’s Defense Ministry.
A source in the defense industry earlier said that the Poseidon drone being developed in Russia would be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 2 megatonnes to destroy enemy naval bases.