Two Russian state-run TV stations aired an image of plans for a long-range nuclear torpedo while showing a meeting between president Vladimir Putin and military generals in Sochi. According to Putin’s spokesman, the image, containing “secret data,” should not have appeared in the media, and TV stations are deleting the footage from their websites.
The document, translated by the BBC, says the “oceanic multi-purpose Status-6 system” is made to “destroy important economic installations of the enemy in coastal areas and cause guaranteed devastating damage to the country’s territory by creating wide areas of radioactive contamination, rendering them unusable for military, economic or other activity for a long time.”
The torpedo’s range could be as much as 10,000 km (6,200 miles), according to the document.
Spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that in the future, authorities would “undoubtedly take preventive measures so this does not happen again.” However, according to independent news website Meduza, bloggers and analysts have been debating whether the leak was perhaps deliberate, and a tactic to sow confusion and fear among Russia’s enemies.
Government newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta described details of the weapon, calling it a “robotic mini-submarine”, and suggested it could be loaded with a highly destructive “dirty” cobalt bombs.
During the meeting, Putin was speaking about US and NATO plans for a global anti-missile defense system, calling them “an attempt to undermine the existing parity in strategic nuclear weapons and essentially to upset the whole system of global and regional stability.” In response, Putin said during the meeting that Russia will develop weapons that could penetrate any missile shield in the world.