WASHINGTON – An underwater drone armed with a nuclear warhead is slated to affix Russia’s arsenal no sooner than 2027, individuals conversant in a U.S. intelligence evaluation informed CNBC.
In November, the Kremlin carried out the eleventh and last-known check of the nuclear-powered weapon, dubbed “Poseidon,” which might navigate autonomously and journey constantly after launching from a submarine.
“What we’re mainly coping with is a Russian submarine, that’s tough to detect, launching a drone, that’s tough to focus on, outfitted with a nuclear warhead,” mentioned one individual, who spoke on the situation of anonymity. “The Russians have ambitions of utilizing the nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered autonomous underwater automobile as a retaliation machine if their legacy nuclear weapon launch functionality is neutralized throughout battle.”
Whereas the strategic nuclear weapon is anticipated to affix the Kremlin’s arsenal as early as eight years from now, the Russians have but to efficiently check the system’s nuclear propulsion coronary heart, which ensures the machine’s eternal energy.
Russian state media has beforehand introduced that the Russian Navy will place at the least 30 Poseidon drones on combat-duty. The U.S. Navy doesn’t have an identical weapon.
The underwater drone was one of many six weapons Russian President Vladimir Putin bragged about throughout a nationwide tackle in March of final 12 months. Of these weapons, CNBC discovered that two of them, a hypersonic glide automobile and air-launched cruise missile, can be prepared for battle by 2020.
The hypersonic glide automobile, dubbed Avangard, is designed to sit down atop an intercontinental ballistic missile. As soon as launched, it makes use of aerodynamic forces to sail on high of the environment.
Earlier intelligence stories, which have been curated final spring, calculate that Avangard is prone to obtain operational functionality by 2020, a big step that will allow the Kremlin to surpass the U.S. and China on this regard.
The air-launched cruise missile dubbed “Kinzhal,” which implies “dagger” in Russian, has been examined at the least thrice and was mounted and launched 12 occasions from a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet. Moreover, work is underway to mount the weapon on a strategic bomber.
Final week, CNBC reported that practically 20 of those Russian missiles have been just lately moved to a army testing website, signaling one other milestone for the Kremlin’s hypersonic weapons program.