The mobilization of the Russian submarine Belgorod and the risk that it may carry the Poseidon nuclear weapon have set off alarms in the media and social networks due to a possible attack, but the truth is that this torpedo, dubbed the “weapon of the apocalypse” , will not be operational until 2027. This is indicated by various information and experts consulted by EFE, who also maintain that the recent movements of the Russian submarine could be conventional tests and not pose a threat to the West .
The circulation of messages and publications warning of the possibility of the Kremlin using this new generation nuclear weapon arose from an article recently published by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica and quoted by several media outlets, in which it was stated that the Alliance he fears that the Belgorod had plunged into Arctic seas to test the torpedo.
Other publications went further and suggested that the submarine had been involved in the leaks from the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.
No change in NATO
In fact, the article does not state that the Poseidon torpedo is ready to be used by the Russian Army and NATO sources consulted by EFE state that the Alliance ” has not observed any change in Russia’s nuclear posture.”
In fact, the information in the Italian newspaper indicated that NATO fears that Belgorod’s mission in the Arctic is to “test for the first time” this nuclear weapon, although a report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) made public in April already warned that since 2016 the Kremlin had carried out tests with the Poseidon, but the system “could not be deployed until 2027”.
The Russian public news agency TASS also indicated on May 12, 2018 that the Poseidon system would not be included in the Russian “state weapons program” until 2027.
This agency, citing a weapons source, reported that the carrier of this warhead would be a “new nuclear submarine” that was being built at a shipyard in the Russian city of Severodvinsk, where the Belgorod submarine was built.
On this issue, sources from the Atlantic Alliance assured EFE that this organization “has not observed any change in Russia’s nuclear posture” and added that “NATO and the Allies remain vigilant” in this regard.
A submarine that is not operational for combat
Researcher Guillermo Pulido, an expert in international defense and editor of the magazine Exercises, agrees that the nuclear projectile is not ready and specifies that not even the Belgorod is “fully operational for combat.”
“The Poseidon is a very immature weapon and for now it is only a concept”, while “the Belgorod is only doing sea trials, not preparing to execute an attack against NATO”, he points out.
Regarding the submarine, this analyst points out that it may still be years until “it is ready for combat”, since it was delivered to the Russian Navy last July.
Hundreds of kilometers from the Nord Stream pipeline
Contrary to what various publications suggest, images taken by satellite place the submarine in the Barents Sea, in the Arctic Ocean , hundreds of kilometers away, while the attacks against the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic were taking place.
The specialized portal Naval News published two photographs that showed the submarine on the surface and placed it north of Russia on September 22 and 27. The analyst HI Sutton, a specialist in submarines and open source intelligence (OSINT), pointed out in this medium that the fact that the Belgorod was in the Barents Sea at that time made it “impossible that it was in the Baltic in the past” . time of the attacks.
Sutton further notes that its movements are broadly in line with what one would expect from a new submarine, although he does not rule out that the submarine’s movements are due to “a test launch of the Poseidon.”
Putin will defend himself with all means
The Poseidon nuclear torpedo , already known as the “weapon of the apocalypse”, should hit the target “at a distance of hundreds of kilometers” and would leave the coastal strips completely “uninhabitable for decades” due to radioactive waves, according to the Russian agency of TASS news.
The threat of a Russian nuclear attack became more apparent after the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, slipped, in a speech he gave on September 21 before the advance of the Ukrainian troops, the possibility of using nuclear weapons in this war.
In his speech, he warned that he would defend his country “with all the means” at his disposal, which presumably includes nuclear force. “Our country also has several means of destruction and, in some, more modern components than those of the NATO countries,” he settled.