Tags: Russia | russia | underwater | nuclear torpedo

Pentagon Report: Russia Developing 'Undersea' Nuclear Torpedo

Image: Pentagon Report: Russia Developing 'Undersea' Nuclear Torpedo
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Alexey Nikolsky/Getty)

By    |   Friday, 02 February 2018 07:09 PM

The Department of Defense has put a primary focus on a multibillion-dollar effort to update its nuclear deterrence against Russia, according to its recently released Nuclear Posture Review, CNN reported Friday.

The report acknowledges publicly for the first time a "new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo," known as the "Status-6" system it said Russia was "developing."

U.S. officials say the Russian program includes a drone-type device fired underwater with the potential of traveling thousands of miles and the capability of striking U.S. targets along the coast, including military bases and cities. If activated, the intent would be widespread radioactive contamination. Analysts have called it a "doomsday weapon."

"The concept is a horror of the Cold War," said Adam Mount, a senior fellow and director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists, adding it was created due to "overblown Russian worries that U.S. missile defenses will make their missile forces obsolete."

"There is no indication from public information that Russia is actively developing the system, but it is alarming to see it in a Pentagon document," Mount added.

"Russia considers the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to be the principal threats to its contemporary geopolitical ambitions," the Pentagon report said.

President Donald Trump issued a statement Friday in support of the Defense Department efforts, claiming nuclear programs in other countries had grown in recent years.

"Over the past decade, despite United States efforts to reduce the roles and numbers of nuclear weapons, other nuclear nations grew their stockpiles, increased the prominence of nuclear weapons in their security strategies, and — in some cases — pursued the development of new nuclear capabilities to threaten other nations," the statement said.

"The strategy develops capabilities aimed at making use of nuclear weapons less likely. It enhances deterrence of strategic attacks against our nation, and our allies and partners, that may not come in the form of nuclear weapons. And, importantly, it reaffirms our commitment to arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, maintains the moratorium on nuclear testing, and commits to improving efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism," Trump's statement continued.

The Pentagon maintained the U.S. had to balance the need for developing a plan for nuclear deterrence while at the same time maintaining a "commitment to nonproliferation and arms control," according to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

However, Mount described the move as a "major shift in U.S. policy."

"Programs for new nuclear weapons would follow our adversaries into a world where nuclear competition is commonplace. The programs would crowd out other military priorities, alarm allies and have huge diplomatic cost — for minimal deterrence benefit," Mount explained.

For its part, Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said the U.S. needed an "investment in a credible nuclear deterrent."

The sentiment of deterrence was echoed by Defense Secretary James Mattis.

"What we have is a nuclear deterrent, so keep those two words always together, and then look at the efforts to push forward on nonproliferation and arms control, and you have to do that when you're in a position of persuasion, not of hope," Mattis said.

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The Department of Defense has put a primary focus on a multibillion-dollar effort to update its nuclear deterrence against Russia, according to its recently released Nuclear Posture Review, CNN reported Friday.
russia, underwater, nuclear torpedo
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2018-09-02
Friday, 02 February 2018 07:09 PM
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