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The Russian leader has been implacably opposed to the western military alliance throughout his presidency. He sees the organisation as an existential threat to his regime and has even blamed it for the war in Ukraine Over the years the Russian tyrant has spent billions of rubles on developing new weapons systems to counter the military might of his Western nemesis.
These have included the development of deadly hypersonic missiles, such as the Avangard and Zircon.
Now, the Kremlin has made another addition to its arsenal of lethal weapons designed to give it the edge over NATO.
On Friday, the Russian Navy commissioned the “Belgorod” K-239 submarine at an official ceremony held at the Sevmash shipyards in the north of the country.
The 600-foot sub is the longest in the world and weighs 24,000 tonnes.
The Russians describe it as a “research” vessel that will enable them to carry out diverse scientific experiments in remote areas of the world’s oceans.
However, the Belgorod’s design allows it to carry one of the most lethal atomic weapons in the world – the Poseidon “doomsday” drone.
The Poseidon is a nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed intercontinental torpedo that can travel up to 5,000 nautical miles at a speed of 50-100 knots.
The forward compartment of the submarine’s conning tower can accommodate half a dozen of these deadly torpedoes.
In a speech at the ceremony, Russia’s Commander-in-Chief of the Navy hailed Russian scientists and engineers for their technological accomplishments.
Nikolai Evmenov said: “Today is a significant day for us – the signing of the acceptance certificate for the Belgorod research submarine and its transfer to the fleet.
“When creating the ship, advanced achievements of science and the latest construction technologies were applied using the existing technical reserve.”
He added: “The submarine “Belgorod” opens up new opportunities for Russia in conducting various studies, allows conducting diverse scientific expeditions and rescue operations in the most remote areas of the World Ocean.”
The Poseidon is roughly 20 metres long, can go 1,000 metres deep and has a range of at least 10,000km.
Its ability to operate deep under the sea and its speed makes it very difficult to intercept.
Moscow began developing the torpedo, as it sought to acquire a range of weapons that could evade the US missile defence system.
The torpedo is referred to as a drone because it can navigate autonomously and could even have the ability to be remotely controlled.
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Analysts believe it has a titanium hull, which allows it to withstand pressure at extreme depths and could potentially be used as a seabed weapon.
That is, the idea would be to pre-position the torpedo on the seabed and activate it from there rather than launching it from submarines.
The yield of its warhead could be as high as 2 megatons, which is 100 times the force packed by the Hiroshima bomb and more than 10 times that of the latest version of the B61 nuclear bomb developed by the US.
David Hambling, a technology journalist, told the website Euronews: “Atomic torpedoes have existed way, way back, certainly since about the 1950s.
“And your normal torpedo is about half a metre in diameter and weighs a few tons
“This thing is at least 1.5 m in diameter and weighs tens of tons, so it’s carrying a very big warhead.”
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