Russian state TV has “accidentally” leaked several images of a potential nuclear torpedo, complete with large easy to see images and text.
Other than the cartoonish size of the schematics, one should also be highly skeptical of the accidental nature of this leak due to other recent attempts to frighten Western media by the regime.
This includes claims by Mr. Putin that Russia will develop qualitative means to defeat the NATO Missile Defense System, despite the system already being easily defeated by the sheer quantity of Russian delivery systems and easily developed countermeasures.
Of more immediate interest is the weapon system itself. Nuclear Torpedoes are not new, as both the United States and the Soviet Union developed torpedoes capable of carrying a 3-11 kiloton weapon at a range of a couple dozen miles or so.
However, the “Status-6” will be much more powerful than that. With a range of 10,000 Kms (6,200 miles), about the distance from London to Lima, the autonomous unit can deliver its cargo of uranium-238 and cobalt-59 most anywhere, according to state media outlet Russia Gazette.
The system is compared to the Deadhand system in mission, meaning that the intention is likely deterrence and not first strike, if it is even developed. However, the curious claim is made that a number of Cobalt Bomb, meant to maximize radiation output, would be able to exterminate all life on Earth. Russia Gazette estimates that 510 tons of cobalt would be necessary. To date, no “salted” weapons of any kind have been tested, but a cobalt based weapon would be particularly nasty, due to the half-life of Co-60 being 5.26 years.
The information on the specifics of cobalt weapons, and further information on nuclear weapons, was provided by Carey Sublette and can be further accessed at their site, Nuclear Weapons FAQ.
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Cover Photo Credit: Pavel Kazachkov/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)