Those of us that lived through “duck and cover” during the Cold War remember the fear of knowing nuclear weapons were aimed at us. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) kept our enemy at bay, but the potential for a world devastating mistake always loomed large in Hollywood movies – and, of course, we all saw those movies
We have developed tremendous capabilities to identify the launch of any intercontinental ballistic missile. The nuclear armed submarines have the shortest in-flight times, but still there is a “launch.” Now, Russia accidentally revealed a new nuclear weapon – nearly or actually undetectable.
The new weapon was inadvertently revealed when Vladimir Putin met with his military chiefs in Sochi in November and a television camera captured a printed page being used in the briefing. It showed Ocean Multipurpose System Status-6. Eventually the Kremilin realized the error and deleted the video. Oops, too late!
[Source: Russia’s new underwater nuclear drone should raise alarm bells, Washington Post Editorial Board]
Russia appears to be creating a tactical nuclear weapon that could be slipped into a harbor carried by a drone. When detonated it would unleash a massive tidal wave in addition to the devastating effects of a nuclear explosion. According to the video, the “mission” of the system is: “Damaging the important components of the adversary’s economy in a coastal area and inflicting unacceptable damage to a country’s territory by creating areas of wide radioactive contamination that would be unsuitable for military, economic, or other activity for long periods of time.”
SOSUS, an acronym for sound surveillance system, is a chain of underwater listening posts located around the world and positioned by the US military. They are designed to detect Russian nuclear submarines attempting to approach our shores. I have no idea if they are sensitive enough to detect a drone with a tactical nuclear weapon in tow.
Probably the area in which mankind is the most clever is “self-destruction.” And lucky me and my family. We live near San Francisco Bay – a tempting target. Who remembers when President Obama chided Mitt Romney because Romney said Russia was our greatest threat. I think we need a new “leader” – one year and counting!