Russia is building a so-called “doomsday” torpedo that could leave a country’s coastline uninhabitable for possibly years, the Pentagon said.
According to a leaked draft of the Nuclear Posture Review, as reported by Popular Mechanics, the Kremlin is working on the “Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6,” known as Kanyon, by the Pentagon. The new Nuclear Posture Review was published Friday, Feb. 2.
“Kanyon is reportedly a very long range autonomous underwater vehicle that has a range 6,200 miles, a maximum depth of 3,280 feet, and a speed of 100 knots according to claims in leaked Russian documents,” Popular Mechanics reported.
The weapon has a 100-megaton thermonuclear weapon, which is equivalent to 100,000,000 tons of TNT. In comparison, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in World War II had 16,000 tons of TNT, according to the report.
The 100-megaton bomb would kill 8 million outright if it hit New York City.
“The mega-bomb would also generate an artificial tsunami that would surge inland, spreading radioactive contamination with the advancing water,” the report stated. To make matters worse, the report noted that the weapon could be “salted” with radioactive isotope Cobalt-60, which could theoretically leave some contaminated areas uninhabitable for 100 years.
Rumors of the weapon’s development began in 2015 following a leak on Russian television, according to The Diplomat. Russia later confirmed its existence.
“The unclassified posture review document doesn’t really tell defense analysts anything new, but it does establish Kanyon as a military fact,” said defense analyst and military historian H. I. Sutton, according to Futurism.com. “Until now, many observers had regarded the system as ‘fake news.’ I think that this was partly because the stated specifications are so incredible and partly because it is hard to understand how it will be used.”
Sutton also said that Kanyon is 5.5 feet wide and about 79 feet long.
“Kanyon is unique in every respect,” added Sutton. “There really is nothing like it in any navy’s inventory.”