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Russia Continues 'Unprecedented' Arctic Military Build Up, Reportedly Testing New 'Super Weapon'

The torpedo is reportedly capable of delivering a multiple megaton warhead, which could create radioactive waves that would render targeted coastlines uninhabitable for decades

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In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, a Russian solder stands guard as Pansyr-S1 air defense system on the Kotelny Island, part of the New Siberian Islands archipelago located between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea, Russia
A Russian solder stands guard as Pansyr-S1 air defense system on the Kotelny Island, part of the New Siberian Islands archipelago located between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea, RussiaCredit: AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov) Russia Arctic Base
Reuters
Haaretz

Russia’s military is reportedly engaged in an "unprecedented build up in the Arctic" and is testing its newest "super weapons" - including the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo. CNN reports that Russia’s activity in the Arctic is geared toward taking advantage of less ice in the region by “securing its northern coast and opening up a key shipping route from Asia to Europe.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin had said in February the torpedo was in a "key stage" of testing and was expecting more tests in the near future as it nears completion. CNN notes the unmanned stealth torpedo is “powered by a nuclear reactor and intended by Russian designers to sneak past coastal defenses - like those of the U.S. - on the sea floor.”

The torpedo is reportedly capable of delivering a multiple megaton warhead, which could create radioactive waves that would render targeted coastlines uninhabitable for decades.

Russia is testing its newest 'super-weapon' in the Arctic

In addition to the weapons tests, Russia is also “refurbishing Soviet-era airfields and radar installations, constructing new ports and search-and-rescue centers, and building up its fleet of nuclear- and conventionally-powered icebreakers," Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell, a Pentagon spokesman, told CNN.

A MiG-31 fighter of the Russian air force is refueled by an Il-78 tanker plane during Russian military maneuvers in the Arctic during military drills at an unspecified locationCredit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

Last week, three Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarines surfaced simultaneously breaking the Arctic ice during drills, in an event reported live by the commander-in-chief of the Russian fleet at a meeting with Putin via videolink.

The commander, Nikolai Yevmenov, said the sophisticated manoeuvre was carried out by submarines "for the first time in the history of the Russian Navy". The submarines surfaced within a 300 meters radius and the ice they broke was 1.5 meter deep, the admiral added.

The Kremlin has pushed to beef up defences in the Arctic, which Putin has touted as a vital region for Russian interests as climate change makes it more accessible.

The Russian defence ministry published footage of the submarines emerging from underneath the ice with loud noise. After one of them surfaced, a sailor showed up on top of it and waved at a camera with his hand.

3 Russian nuclear submarines break through Arctic ice at onceCredit: Russian Ministry of Defense

The drill was held near Franz Josef Land Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean and was aimed at testing Russian military hardware in extreme weather conditions.

"The Arctic expedition... has no analogues in the Soviet and the modern history of Russia," Putin said.

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