Russia Tests New Super-Weapon in Arctic

Bases and troops are being strengthened, and the US and NATO have made countermoves
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2021 4:56 PM CDT
Russia Tests New Super-Weapon in Arctic
Troops pose last month before leaving for an exercise in the Arctic at an airport outside Grozny, Russia.   (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)

Taking advantage of warmer conditions brought by climate change, Russia is strengthening its military presence in the Arctic and testing new, more powerful weapons. Satellite images show bases being built up along Russia's Arctic coastline, CNN reports, including Cold War-era installations that are being refitted. The area close to Alaska now has bombers, MiG31BM jets, new radar systems, and underground storage for high-tech weapons. "There's clearly a military challenge from the Russians in the Arctic," a senior State Department official said. "That has implications for the United States and its allies, not least because it creates the capacity to project power up to the North Atlantic." American military officials had been skeptical of a pair of new types of weapons that now appear to be successful.

The US is keeping an eye especially on a "super-weapon," the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo. Russian officials have said the nuclear-powered stealth torpedo will be capable of carrying a warhead that can cause radioactive waves that could leave a coastline uninhabitable. It's designed to move along the sea floor to evade US defenses. NATO and US forces and equipment have been shifted to counter the Russian activity, which has been more noticeable lately. Last week, three submarines broke through five feet of ice at the same time, surfacing with 1,000 feet of each other, a first for the Russian navy, per Live Science. Russian military leaders have been quoted in state media saying high-tech weapons are being tested in the region. The military announced that an anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile, the Tsirkon, was successfully tested in November; Vladimir Putin had touted the development of the Tsirkon and the Poseidon in 2018. (Read more Russian military stories.)

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