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Secret Russian radioactive doomsday torpedo leaked on television

Top secret plans to build a torpedo-mounted, radioactive “dirty bomb” appear to have been inadvertently leaked by a careless Russian general


Secret plans for a Russian long-range nuclear torpedo came to light after a state television cameraman filmed over a senior officer’s shoulder with a diagram on show.

The scheme involves the use of massive doses of radiation to render large areas of enemy coastlines uninhabitable and appeared on TV during a meeting with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

The images were quickly removed by Russia’s state owned broadcasters, apparently after censors intervened, but not before they were broadcast across the country and picked up by sharp-eyed YouTube users.

“It’s true some secret data got into the shot, therefore it was subsequently deleted,” said Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president’s press secretary. “In future we will undoubtedly take preventive measures so this does not happen again.”

The screen shot shows a general studying a page headlined “Oceanic Multipurpose System ‘Status-6′”, and attributed to the St. Petersburg-based Rubin design bureau – the same office that has produced many of Russia’s most modern nuclear submarines.

According to an introductory blurb, Status 6 is designed 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”.

President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting on military issues at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia  Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

The page also shows a cross-section of the proposed torpedo, and two potential carrier submarines, the Project 09852 Belgorod, and the Project 09851 Kabarovsk, both new “special purpose” boats laid down at the Arctic circle Sevmash shipyard in 2012 and 2014 respectively, although the Belgorod makes use of an older hull for an earlier, never completed boat.

Status 6 itself appears to be a gigantic torpedo-shaped robotic mini-submarine – in other words an underwater


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