Journalists were not allowed to photograph or film the launch as the submarine’s operational characteristics have been classified.
In November 2015, a state television channel briefly showed a document with drawings and details of a planned, nuclear-capable, submarine-launched drone. The document said the purpose of the drone was to “strike important enemy economic facilities in coastal areas” and create “zones of extensive radioactive contamination that are unfit for military, economic, or other activity for a long period of time.
The Kremlin quickly dismissed the report as a mistake.
However, in his annual state-of-the-nation address on March 1, 2018, Putin discussed a number of new weapons undergoing testing and development, including a nuclear-capable undersea drone.
Using colorful graphics and video, Putin said the high-speed drone could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities with nuclear weapons. Putin claimed the drone would be impossible to intercept.
The drone was later named Poseidon.
In his most recent state-of-the-nation address on February 20, Putin announced that the first submarine equipped to carry the Poseidon would be floated out before summer.
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036. Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, and RIA Novosti