The bus-sized Poseidon is designed to destroy coastal targets with a multi-megaton warhead

A “doomsday” submarine with nuclear torpedoes “the size of a school bus” that are so potent they may trigger a “radioactive tsunami” was handed to the Russian Navy yesterday.

According to US Naval Institute News, the 184m (604ft), 30,000-ton Belgorod submarine is the biggest one to be built in 30 years and can accommodate six 80ft long Poseidon nuclear torpedo drones that are equipped with a 100-megaton nuclear warhead.

These autonomous weapons are designed to inflict “devastating” widespread radioactive contamination similar to a cobalt bomb and might cause a wave up to 500m (1,650ft) high.

According to a leaked Russian paper that the BBC translated in 2015, Poseidon torpedoes are intended to “destroy” economically significant coastal cities by “producing broad regions of radioactive pollution, leaving them unsuitable for military, economic, or other activity for a long period.”

The ship is believed to be equipped with up to six nuclear-armed torpedoes, each capable of carrying warheads with an explosive power of up to 100 megatons – which could cause radioactive devastation if used against coastal citiesThe 80ft long Poseidon torpedo drones can carry a warhead up to 100 megatons according to leaked reports from 2015. These unmanned weapons could produce a tsunami up to 500m (1,650ft) high and are designed cause widespread radioactive contamination akin to a cobalt bomb.

The weapon’s hundreds of mile range were also disclosed.

According to Russian military analysts, the 2015 leak was a warning to the US since a warhead of this magnitude would completely demolish the US coast with a massive wave and radioactive fallout.

State-run Russian news agency TASS announced in May 2020 that the payload may be up to two megatons with an operation depth of more than 1 kilometre to “destroy enemy naval bases.”

At the submarine’s delivery ceremony yesterday, July 8, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Nikolay Tevmenov stated that it will be used for “research and scientific excursions.”

“The submarine Belgorod gives new prospects for Russia in holding numerous research studies and aids in carrying out diverse scientific expeditions and rescue operations in distant sections of the World Ocean,” he stated.

The vessel was yesterday handed to the Severodvinsk headquarters of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet after being constructed at the Sevmash Shipyard, the country’s largest shipyard.

The Russian Navy received the ship after it allegedly started its maiden sea testing last year under the cover of the Main Directorate of Undersea Research following threats to scuttle British and American warships in the Black Sea.

The Belgorod is an Oscar-II missile cruise submarine, which is modified to conduct covert missions and carry large Poseidon nuclear torpedoes

‘On July 8, 2022, a special ceremony was held at the Sevmash Production Association (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation), Russia’s largest shipbuilding enterprise, to sign a certificate of the acceptance/delivery of the Belgorod research submarine to the Navy,’ the Shipyard said in a statement reported by TASS.

The Russian Navy said in January that they will get the “special-purpose sub with nuclear-armed drones” on July 31 of this year, three weeks earlier than expected.

While the navy will run it, President Vladimir Putin will decide on its duties.

According to defence expert HI Sutton, who called the Belgorod submarine a “doomsday submarine,” the Belgorod sub was spotted on the surface of the White Sea on June 26 with the second-largest sub in the world, the Dmitry Donskoi.

These submarines are enormous, bigger than anything in the West, even the Ohio Class of the US Navy, he declared.

One of the earliest pictures of the 604ft Belgorod, the largest submarine of its kind of the last 30 years. It was delivered to the Russian Navy yesterday, July 8, after years of testing

The submarine may also be equipped with “unique” drones built for clandestine tasks like disrupting underwater phone and internet connections, which would be extremely damaging to Western economies.

The fleet of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), according to Dr. Sidharth Kaushal from the Royal United Services Institute, may have strategic importance for President Putin, he told The Mail on Sunday last year.

The Belgorod is big enough to serve as a mother ship for a special group of smaller ships with deep-diving skills and the capacity to tamper with underwater infrastructure, according to Dr. Kaushal.

‘It’s well equipped for sabotage and clandestine operations. Its Poseidon nuclear torpedoes could also be a very effective means of attacking an aircraft carrier in wartime – one against which at present no defence exists.

‘The Belgorod will not be part of the Russian Navy per se, meaning its covert and aggressive actions will effectively be deniable.

‘The submarine appears set up for non-attributable Special Forces warfare with its commanders answering directly to the [political] leadership and bypassing the Russian naval command structure.’

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