Last month, Russian media “accidentally” broadcast the design of a secret long-range nuclear torpedo called Status-6. Russia claims it was designed to radioactively contaminate wide areas of economic targets on enemy coasts. The submarine-launched torpedo is capable of destroying important economic installations of enemy’s coastal areas. It will cause “guaranteed devastation,” rendering the target areas unusable for economic, military or other activities for years.
Status-6 would take more than a day to reach New York
The nuclear torpedo has a range of 10,000 km and depth of 1,000 meters. It will be launched by nuclear-powered submarines of Belgorod and Khabarovsk class. The state-run Rossiiskaya Gazeta described Status-6 as a “robotic submarine” with a speed of 115 miles per hour. Given its range, the Russian super-weapon is more like an underwater intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) than a torpedo.
An ICBM could hit distant targets because it travels through open skies. But a torpedo moving at the depth of 1,000 meters will see a lot of canyons and mountains in its 10,000 km long journey. An ICBM could cover the same distance in less than half an hour. Status-6’s 115 miles per hour speed is similar to that of Shkval, which was primarily designed to attack nearby ships, says Michael Peck of the National Interest. So, why would Russia use Status-6 where it can use ICBMs that are more effective?
One more offensive system in Russia’s arsenal
Well, the US and NATO members are developing an anti-missile defense system. The US claims that the system will be deployed to counter the threat of Iranian and North Korean missiles. But the air defense systems will be eventually installed in Poland and Romania to neutralize Russian nuclear attacks. Vladimir Putin says it will pose a serious threat to global and regional stability.
Though Russia is developing offensive systems capable of penetrating the US air defense shield, the Status-6 could be an alternative mechanism. This torpedo can “avoid all acoustic tracking devices and other traps.” Even if the US neutralizes Russian ICBMs, it could launch undersea Status-6 to cause irreversible damage to the enemy. The torpedo will be armed with a cobalt bomb.
Upon detonation, cobalt-59 would be transmuted into cobalt-60, a highly radioactive particle with a half-life of more than five years. It will ensure that “everything living will be killed,” including those hiding in bunkers. No country in the world has yet tested a cobalt bomb due to the devastating radiation it would unleash.