The real purpose of Russia’s ‘Poseidon’ nuclear doomsday device

Ever since 2015 when images of a Russian nuclear torpedo first leaked on state television, the world has asked itself why Moscow would build a weapon that could potentially end all life on Earth.

While all nuclear weapons can kill thousands in the blink of an eye and leave radiation poisoning the environment for years to come, Russia’s new doomsday device, called the “Poseidon,” takes steps to maximize this effect.

If the US fired one of its Minutemen III nuclear weapons at a target, it would detonate in the air above the target and rely on the blast’s incredible downward pressure to crush it. The fireball from the nuke may not even touch the ground, and the only radiation would come from the bomb itself and any dust particles in air swept up in the explosion, Stephen Schwartz, author of “Atomic Audit” previously told Business Insider.

But Russia’s Poseidon reportedly uses a warhead hundreds of times stronger, and perhaps even as strong as the largest bomb ever detonated. Additionally, it will come into direct contact with water, marine animals, and the ocean floor, kicking up a radioactive tsunami that could spread deadly radiation over hundreds of thousands of miles of land and sea, rendering it uninhabitable for decades.

In short, while most nuclear weapons can end a city, Russia’s Poseidon can end a continent.

Read more:Why Putin’s new ‘doomsday’ device is so much more deadly and horrific than a regular nuke

Even in the mania at the height of the Cold War, nobody took seriously the idea of building such a world-ender, Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute told Business Insider.

So why build one now?

A NATO-ender

A briefing slide of the alleged Status-6 nuclear torpedo captured from Russian television.
BBC

Davis calls the Poseidon a “third strike vengeance weapon,” meaning that Russia would attack a NATO member, the US would respond, and a then devastated Russia would flip the switch on a hidden nuke that would lay waste to an entire US seaboard.

According to Davis, the Poseidon would give Russia a “coercive power” to discourage a NATO response to a Russian first strike.

Read more:Navy chief says the US needs to hit first and get ‘muscular’ with Russian and Chinese ships

Russia here would not only seek to re-occupy Eastern Europe, “but coerce NATO to not act upon an Article V declaration, and thus lose credibility. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has made it clear he seeks the collapse of NATO. If NATO doesn’t come to the aid of a member state, it’s pretty much finished as a defence alliance,” he continued.

Essentially, Russia could use the Poseidon as an insurance policy while it picks apart NATO. The US, for fear that its coastlines could become irradiated for decades by a stealthy underwater torpedo it has no defenses against, may seriously question how badly it needs to save Estonia from Moscow’s clutches.

“Putin may calculate that NATO will blink first rather than risk escalation to a nuclear exchange. Poseidon accentuates the risks to NATO in responding to any Russian threat greatly, dramatically increasing Russia’s coercive power,” Davis continued.

Davis also suggested the Poseidon would make a capable but heavy-handed naval weapon, which he said could likely take out an entire carrier strike group in one shot.

Russia’s new nuclear ferocity

Journalists and military attaches attend a news briefing, organized by Russian defence and foreign ministries and dedicated to cruise missile systems including SSC-8/9M729 model, at Patriot Expocentre near Moscow, Russia on January 23, 2019.
REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Recently, Russia has signaled its willingness to use nuclear weapons to coerce the West with its violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty, said Davis. These missiles are purpose-built for taking out European capitals from the Russian mainland.

Read more:How the US’s nuclear weapons compare to Russia’s

But Russia has frequently engaged in nuclear saber-rattling when it feels encircled by NATO forces, and so far has steered clear of confronting NATO with kinetic forces.

“Whether that will involve actual use or just the threat of use, is the uncertainty,” said Davis.

While it’s hard to imagine a good reason for laying the kind of destruction the Poseidon promises, Davis warned that we shouldn’t assume the Russians think about nuclear warfare the same way the US does.

Source link

more recommended stories

  • ‘El Chapo’ lawyers may challenge conviction over juror remarks

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Mexican drug.

  • How PEZ Is Made – Business Insider

    Following is a transcript of the.

  • A worker was killed by an exploding tire at John Wayne Airport, SNA

    A worker at John Wayne Airport.

  • FBI had backup plan to preserve Russia investigation evidence: report

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI developed.

  • If he wins, Bernie Sanders would be the oldest president in US history

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reacts during.

  • Trump urges Venezuela’s military to back Juan Guaido

    President Donald Trump urged Venezuelan military.

  • Facebook acts like ‘digital gangsters,’ says Damian Collins committee

    British lawmakers have accused Facebook of.

  • Four people died in a 12-hour hostage standoff in Mississippi

    Law enforcement officials confirmed four people.

  • Migrant caravan members giving up on trying to enter US amid new policies

    Over 2,000 members of the migrant.

  • Charles Barkley tried to get Dirk Nowitzki to Auburn in hilarious story

    The first time Dirk Nowitzki met.

  • Why Conservative MPs now believe Theresa May’s Brexit deal will pass

    LONDON — When Theresa May’s Brexit.

  • Movies you should watch on Netflix this weekend

    There’s so much content coming and.

  • Umami Burger’s Impossible patty recipe is leads the meatless revolution

    Veggie burgers are not typically regarded.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom answers Trump tweet on high-speed rail

    California’s newly sworn-in Gov. Gavin Newsom.

  • Theresa May set for another Commons defeat as Brexiteers threaten to reject her Brexit plans

    LONDON — Theresa May faces a.

  • One of Wall Street’s biggest banks just revealed a massive stake in Twitter — and the company’s stock is soaring (TWTR)

    Richard Drew/AP Morgan Stanley said in.

  • Mackenna Kelly is making $1,000 a day making ASMR videos

    ASMR, short for autonomous sensory meridian.

  • Key chart for the global economy, according to Capital Economics

    The global economy is at something.

  • Martin Scorsese’s Netflix movie ‘The Irishman’ de-aging explained

    Ever since Martin Scorsese and Robert.

  • 2019 Grammys best celebrity outfits

    On Sunday, the music industry’s biggest.

  • Theresa May will plea with MPs to buy more time to renegotiate Brexit deal

    LONDON — Theresa May will plead.

  • How a call to abolish billionaires made its way into the mainstream

    For the first time on a.

  • Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens slammed over Hitler comments

    Candace Owens, a top figure in.

  • Democrats are calling on Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign

    Lawmakers — including several Democratic presidential.

  • Stock market news: Trump trade war uncertainty send markets lower

    President Trump’s suggestion that he won’t.

  • Cybersecurity startup Illumio raises $65 million, hires CFO Anup Singh

    Cybersecurity startup Illumio just raised a.

  • Pressure is mounting on Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign

    Pressure is mounting on Virginia Lt..

  • Facebook to award employee bonuses for ‘social good’

    Facebook is coming up with ways.

  • Kate Middleton brought a family photo to a school’s show-and-tell

    The Duchess of Cambridge today showed.

  • Howard Schultz wants to run for president in 2020. Why?

    For years rumors of presidential ambitions.

  • Anthony Davis trade request throwing off Celtics trade, free-agency plans

    Anthony Davis’ trade request from the.

  • 10 things in tech you need to know today, February 4

    Microsoft’s Face API. Microsoft Good morning!.