So, the big news today, of course, is this:
Translation: "Sevmash" handed over to the Russian Navy the submarine "Belgorod", which will be the first carrier of "Poseidons"
Obviously, Poseidon, together with a number of other Russia's serial produced weapons such as Avangard or Zircon--you know, the ones Western media called cartoons in 2018--worry the United States and there have been several attempts to "limit" the development and now the procurement of such weapons under different pretexts, including arms limitations talks. Enough to recall this:
The international community must band together to ban the use of autonomous nuclear weapons before it's too late, argues a leading arms control group. Autonomous nukes could make mistakes humans would not, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists—a Chicago-based nonprofit made up of scientists and global security experts—says in a recent post. The artificial intelligence (AI) programs that guide these weapons are inexperienced in making even relatively simple decisions without humans. The solution, the Bulletin states, is to always keep nuclear weapons under total human control.
Well, I agree in principle with limiting the use of AI in nukes, but who said that Poseidon is fully "autonomous"? Even this article states that:
Meanwhile, Russia is developing an autonomous uninhabited undersea vehicle, Poseidon (pictured at the top of this story). The bus-sized vessel travels at 70 knots an hour, packs a two-megaton thermonuclear warhead, and is designed to be launched against aircraft carriers and coastal targets. The U.S. Navy describes Poseidon as autonomous, Kallenborn notes, but it's unclear how much autonomy it actually has. Regardless, an autonomous system delivering a weapon with the explosive power of two million tons of TNT should make everyone uneasy.
The first thing, of course, is the use of "70 knots per hour" which is cringe-worthy because a knot IS a measure of speed and it is a nautical mile per hour. Used in knots per hour is more a description of acceleration (and old way of saying it) than of speed. Secondly, nobody but Russians know the degree of autonomy of Poseidon and Russia is not the country which takes such issues lightly.
No matter how such an event will be spun by Western "journos", one has to keep in mind that Poseidon, while capable of wiping out huge segments of the coast by creating a monstrous tsunami--some say up to 500 meters high--its existence has profound ramifications for any fleet which would decide to travel as a formation, a precise way Carrier Battle Groups travel, because they become merely sitting ducks for such a weapon. Obviously modern means of detection and targeting on Poseidon, most likely, allow to use this huge vehicle as a carrier of a huge conventional warhead capable to sink, by detonating under the keel, any type of ship, including US Navy's CVNs. And it cannot be intercepted by modern ASW weapons due to a huge speed and an extreme difficulty of detecting it, especially when traveling at the depth of 1+ kilometer and surfacing only for the strike.
It is a terrifying thing, plus, of course, its carrier--the redesigned pr. 949A K-329 Belgorod--doesn't need to venture far away from Russia's shores in case of serious events and can launch Poseidons from a relative safety of areas patrolled by Russian Navy's multipurpose subs and covered by ASW/Patrol aviation.
Poseidon is a completely new category of weapon. It will reshape naval planning in both Russia and the West, leading to new requirements and new counter-weapons. A weapon which cannot be nullified with anti-missile defenses. In future nuclear tensions, if we live through this one, it will be a strong factor. But we are not there yet. As of today none of the submarines to carry it are operational. One test submarine, Sarov which can carry a single round, is in service. Another boat, Belgorod, is not yet commissioned. It could be speculated that Russia could attempt a launch if desperate enough. But it is currently nowhere near the threat level of traditional submarine launched missiles. Poseidon’s day will come.
The Poseidon's day has come and, together with 3M22 Zircon and new AD systems being deployed to new Russian Navy's ships, world's navies as we know them will go the way of sail ships and dreadnoughts--into history.
In related news, VSU tried to mount some kind of "offensive" (a euphemism for couple of tactical level attacks) in Zaporozhie (in Russian). The result was easily predictable, pre-deployed VSU forces were promptly "Uraganized" and lost any desire to attack. Same goes for clowns who tried to "raise flag" at Snake Island couple of days ago and were immediately "decomposed" by Russian Air Force and those few who survived started to hide wherever they could at this island. Obviously, the solemn ceremony of raising Ukrainian flag had to be abandoned. But I am sure they will try it again some time later. They need all PR "victories" they can get. I am sure the Black Sea Fleet aviation will provide fireworks, if you know what I mean.