VLADIMIR Putin has deployed the world’s biggest submarine which can be armed with a terrifying nuclear “apocalypse drone”, NATO has reportedly warned.
The K-329 Belgorod nuclear submarine[/caption]
The Belgorod can cause radioactive tsunamis and wipe out enemy coastlines[/caption]
The powerful K-329 Belgorod can reportedly trigger radioactive tsunamis and wipe out enemy coastlines with its underwater drone Poseidon.
Details of the submarine’s high speed 125mph underwater propulsion system have long been a closely guarded Russian secret.
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The Belgorod is currently said to be submerged in Arctic waters, and it’s feared Putin will use the mission to test the weapon for the first time.
Putin vowed to use “any means” to defend the four Ukrainian regions annexed to Russia as he ramps up his nuclear threats and his invasion enters an unpredictable new phase.
The Belgorod has previously been hailed as a “game changer” for Putin’s navy after suffering a series of humiliations in the Ukraine war.
The Kremlin said the monster sub will carry up to eight Poseidons, each 79ft long, ready to unleash Armageddon.
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Defence expert H.I. Sutton told La Reppubblica: “It is a completely new type of weapon that will force Western navies to change their planning and develop new countermeasures.”
It has reportedly been in development since before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The revolutionary design – based on the Oscar II class cruise missile subs – has been extensively modified to specialise in covert missions.
The sub was made its giant length so it could carry the devastating nuclear-tipped Poseidon torpedoes guided by artificial intelligence.
Eerie footage of a successful “field test” of the Poseidon last year showed the weapon being released by soldiers on a sub and featured green waves in the supposed aftermath of the explosion.
The nuke can be dropped onto the seabed by a sub or ship and zoom past underwater defences at reported speeds between 70 and 125 knots.
A two-megaton warhead is designed to trigger a tsunami, generating a 300ft wall of radioactive water to devastate coastal cities.
The sub also has Bond villain-style secret compartments to launch mini-subs and drones for covert sabotage and spying ops – such as cutting undersea cables.
Christopher A Ford, a former assistant secretary of state for International Security and Non-Proliferation, told CNN the torpedo is being designed to “inundate US coastal cities with radioactive tsunamis”.
NATO has already issued a chilling nuclear war warning after Putin’s deranged speech last week.
Jens Stoltenberg, who heads the Western military alliance, said Putin’s move to make four regions of Ukraine part of Russia has brought the world one step closer to nuclear Armageddon.
There are no checks on Mr Putin… just as he made the irresponsible decision to invade Ukraine, you know, he could make another decision
“Putin has mobilised hundreds of thousands of more troops, engaged in irresponsible nuclear sabre rattling and now illegally annexed more Ukrainian territory,” he said.
“Together, this represents the most serious escalation since the start of the war.
“NATO reaffirms its unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We remain resolute in providing support to Ukraine as it continues to defend itself against Russia’s aggression, for as long as it takes.”
Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin warned Putin’s nuclear threats might not be a bluff.
He told CNN: “There are no checks on Mr Putin. Just as he made the irresponsible decision to invade Ukraine, you know, he could make another decision.”
Austin said what will happen next in the Ukraine war is “hard to predict”.
But former CIA director and retired four-star army general David Petraeus said the US and its allies would destroy Russia’s troops if Putin uses nuclear weapons in the country.
He told ABC News: “It can still get worse for Putin and for Russia… you have to take the threat seriously.
“Just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a NATO – a collective – effort that would take out every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black Sea.”
And despite Ukraine not being a member of NATO, a “US and NATO response” would be in order if Russia uses nukes, Petraeus said.
Petraeus admitted the likelihood that radiation would reach NATO countries could be taken as an attack on a NATO member.
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“Perhaps you can make that case. The other case is that this is so horrific that there has to be a response – it cannot go unanswered,” he said.
But he added: “You don’t want to, again, get into a nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that this cannot be accepted in any way.”