Russian TV Segment On Poseidon Nuclear Torpedo Destroying Britain Is Misleading
A segment aired on Russia-1, a state-owned TV channel, appears to be aimed at a British audience. The video amounts to a threat, showing how the Poseidon nuclear-armed torpedo could be used to destroy Britain. Wipe if off the map, if the graphic is to be believed.
Poseidon is to be taken very seriously. But this video should not. It contains errors and repeats unsubstantiated claims and hyperbole.
I am not going to link directly to any copy of the video, as I do not want to amplify questionable information. But it is easy to find.
When Russian media runs articles on Poseidon analysts look carefully at the claims. Many useful details have emerged over the years, particularly where material is sourced from the Russian MoD (Ministry of Defense).
But there is also a lot of incorrect information, and use of misleading graphics. This is typical of many news agencies around the world when it comes to niche defense topics. But Poseidon, being a 'doomsday weapon' suffers more than some other topics. This video is firmly in this group.
Details of the torpedo, and its host submarine, are incorrect. These show that the computer-generated segment does not come from an informed source. It appears created by the TV's staff to support the monologue, using hastily gathered source material.
The sequence shows a Poseidon torpedo shot from the flank of a submarine. The submarine, Belgorod, is correct. However, the torpedo should emerge out of the bow (front). It is possible that they made this mistake after seeing my own early representations. I initially suggested that mounting them in the flank was more likely, but this turned out to be incorrect.
The segment repeats exaggerated specifications. This includes a claimed 100 megaton warhead which it says will create a 500 meter high tsunami. This has its roots in Russian media articles immediately following the November 2015 unveiling of Poseidon (then called Status-6). These articles appear speculative at best. Newer estimates for the warhead size is around 2 megatons.
Poseidon is a new category of weapon, and it has the potential to shape the defense needs of the UK and NATO allies. It threatens to devastate coastal cities, and is a threat to the whole of the UK. It will be very difficult to counter and require new weapons to intercept it. But the Russia-1 segment is not a credible source for information on this threat.
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