Russia is constructing a coastal base at an undisclosed location for its Poseidon unmanned underwater “doomsday nuke,” hoping to extend the drones’ lifespan with better maintenance and storage, Izvestia reported.
The base will include storage and maintenance depots, warehouses, and workshops, and is expected to be ready for use by June next year.
Poseidon is designed to handle a nuclear warhead more powerful than a conventional intercontinental ballistic missile, which gives the Russian military a credible retaliatory option in the event of a nuclear attack.
However, the futuristic unmanned vehicle would be difficult to maintain without having an accompanying coastal base and infrastructure, Russian naval experts told Investia.
The base currently under construction helps the vehicle carry out combat training and repair work any time of the year.
“The products for which the infrastructure is now being built are high-tech robots, which are difficult to maintain in working order,” stated Rear Admiral Vsevolod Khmyrov.
“Throwing such a technique straight into the water is like throwing it out,” he added. “By itself, such equipment cannot exist, it must enter the appropriate atmosphere.”
The nuclear-powered drone was scheduled to be launched from the nuclear submarine cruiser K-329 “Belgorod” in the Arctic Sea last year, but the launch was postponed to this year, Moscow Times said.
The torpedo-shaped autonomous drones are designed to be placed in six silo launchers in the submarine, Their unlimited cruising range, thanks to nuclear propulsion, gives them the capability to inflict heavy damage to the enemy’s coastal areas in any part of the world’s oceans.
At least 30 Poseidons are expected to be deployed as part of the Russian navy’s Northern Fleet and two others in the Pacific Fleet, according to the Moscow Times.