Russia Reveals Secret Nuclear-Armed Drone Sub

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High-speed harbor buster shown on TV

A Russian document shown on state-run television confirmed that Moscow is developing a high-speed drone submarine capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.

The secret weapon was shown on a document during several Tuesday Russian television broadcasts of President Vladimir Putin announcing plans for new strike weapons capable of defeating missile defenses.

Disclosure of the nuclear-tipped, torpedo-shaped weapon was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon and has been dubbed Kanyon by the Pentagon.

A Kremlin spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the weapon, which Moscow is calling the Status-6 system, was inadvertently disclosed.

“Some secret information did indeed end up in front of the camera lenses, so it was later deleted,” Russian spokesman Dmitri Peskov was quoted by Interfax as saying. “We hope this won’t happen again.”

The document revealed that the Kanyon project is called “Ocean Multipurpose System ‘Status-6” and the developer was identified as the TsKB MT Rubin design bureau, which has built all current submarines in service with the Russian navy.

According to a translation of the document the goal of developing the submarine is “damaging the important components of the adversary’s economy in a coastal area and inflicting unacceptable damage to a country’s territory by creating areas of wide radioactive contamination that would be unsuitable for military, economic, or other activity for long periods of time.”

The document describes the weapon as a “self-propelled underwater craft” that can be delivered by two classes of submarines, Project 09852 or Project 09851 boats. The 09852 is a nuclear-powered submarine based on what NATO calls the Oscar II-class attack submarine. The NATO code name for the 09851 could not be identified.

The document appears to state that the Oscar-class submarine will be capable of carrying four drones and the other will be equipped with either three or six.

Both submarines are relatively new and built in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Information from the document also appears to say that the drone submarine will travel at a depth of 3,280 feet and at a speed of more than 56 knots.

The range is said to be 6,200 miles.

Russia is building up its nuclear forces and updated its nuclear doctrine to lower the threshold for the use of such weapons in a conflict.

The buildup and doctrine have alarmed U.S. and NATO military leaders who have said that Russia is emerging as a renewed strategic threat under Putin, a former KGB officer who has said the collapse of the Soviet Union was a catastrophe.

Full article: Russia Reveals Secret Nuclear-Armed Drone Sub (Washington Free Beacon)

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