Putin views launch of new submarine to carry nuclear drones

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during a visit a shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Putin said the government will pursue an ambitious navy modernization effort. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of guardian council of the Russian Geographic Society in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Putin said the government will pursue an ambitious navy modernization effort. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has watched the launch of a new submarine intended to carry prospective underwater nuclear drones — a doomsday weapon capable of causing a devastating tsunami.

During Tuesday's visit to a military shipyard in St. Petersburg, Putin viewed the departure of the Belgorod nuclear submarine at the Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk in northwestern Russia via a teleconference.

The navy said the submarine designed to carry Poseidon drones is set to enter service next year.

Poseidon can target coastal areas with a heavy nuclear weapon, causing a devastating tsunami wave. Putin has said its tests have been successful.

He first mentioned the nuclear-powered drone among an array of other new weapons in a state-of-the nation address last year, saying they would render U.S. missile defense systems useless.

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