Russia has started underwater trials of its nuclear-capable drone, ‘Poseidon’ capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads.
"In the sea area protected from a potential enemy’s reconnaissance means, the underwater trials of the nuclear propulsion unit of the Poseidon drone are underway," Tass quoted an unnamed source as saying Tuesday.
In his address to both houses of Russia’s parliament on March 1, Russian President Putin mentioned for the first time the development of a nuclear-powered unmanned underwater vehicle that can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.
The reactor is installed in the hull of the operating drone but the tests are being held as part of experimental design work rather than full-fledged sea trials at this stage, the source added.
The Russian Navy is using one of its nuclear-powered submarines as the drone’s carrier during the trials, the source said.
According to the source, the works on the drone are included in the state armament program for 2018-2027. The Poseidon is due to be delivered to the Navy until the program’s expiry, the source added.
Poseidon drones together with their carriers - nuclear-powered submarines - make part of the so-called oceanic multipurpose system. The drone got its name following the results of open voting on the website of Russia’s Defense Ministry.
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Russian ‘special-purpose nuclear-powered submarine Belgorod that will be the first carrier of Poseidon strategic underwater drones, was floated out at the Sevmash Shipyard on Tuesday, Russia media reported. The Poseidon drones are meant to evade underwater defences and strike strategic targets with nuclear or conventional warheads
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