We Now Know Why Russia Wants a 100-Megaton Nuclear Torpedo (Source Yahoo)
In a speech on March 1, 2018, Russian president Vladimir Putin detailed a half-dozen “invincible” new Russian weapons under development, which he assured would give his nation the ability to launch “unstoppable” nuclear attacks on the United States. The speech, which was met with cheers by the audience, was accompanied by a video presentation that included an animation of a separating nuclear warheads raining down on Florida, apparently in the vicinity of President Trump’s retreat in Mar-a-Lago.
The bellicose rhetoric is surely intended to rally political support for Putin’s reelection on March 18, as well a reflection of Moscow’s own insecurity, stemming from fears that new U.S. ballistic-missile defenses may eventually render Russia’s nuclear deterrence ineffective. Putin pointedly highlighted new systems that would circumvent BMD capabilities such as long-range cruise missiles and a hypersonic glide vehicle. Perhaps the most novel of the weapons Putin described was an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle codenamed Status Six or Kanyon—basically a long-range nuclear-armed drone torpedo that does not rely on remote guidance. Supposedly the Kanyon carries an enormous one-hundred-megaton nuclear warhead which could be launched at a coastal city (think New York or Los Angeles) or a fleet at sea. The resulting underwater detonation could create an apocalyptic five-hundred-meter-high tsunami wave of irradiated water that would contaminate anything it fails to smash into oblivion.
The Status Six would supposedly be capable of diving as deep as one thousand meters under the sea, and tearing through the water at fifty-six knots. For comparison, few military submarines are designed to dive deeper than five hundred meters. Furthermore, current U.S. Navy Mark 48 torpedoes have a speed of fifty-five knots, making interception unlikely. NATO lacks antisubmarine weapons designed to intercept a target so fast and deep.