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Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System (Poseidon) (wikipedia.org)
29 points by eth0up 3 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments

With the size of Russia's SLBM stockpile, this doesn't seem to change the deterrence equation, according to the Wikipedia article.

It seems like this allows more orgs within Russian military industrial complex to grab development money. It probably reduces their perceived need to pay for the manned submarine leg of the nuclear tripod in the upcoming decades.

> With the size of Russia's SLBM stockpile, this doesn't seem to change the deterrence equation

Status-6 seems like a hedge against the possibility of those SLBMs being rendered obsolete by a theorized missile defense program like Brilliant Pebbles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brilliant_Pebbles

Brilliant Pebbles called for thousands of satellites in LEO, which was impractical when it was originally proposed. But SpaceX has since demonstrated their ability to launch constellations this large on a relatively small budget.

How would it navigate? GLONASS signals won't penetrate the water to the depths mentioned. The 1.6 and 1.2 Ghz bands it uses won't even go through 1 meter of seawater [0] A star tracker would also be worthless. An inertial reference might be "good enough", as in "close enough for nuclear war"

[0] https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Radio-wave-attenuation-b...

Instead of thinking of this like a missile, instead think of it like a submarine. Submarines don't use star tracking, they use inertial navigation systems to inform dead reckoning. This accumulates error over time, but my impression is they work a lot better than you might expect.

> Instead of thinking of this like a missile, instead think of it like a submarine

I'm former Air Force, so that sort of comes with the territory. Sorry. :)

You also don't need perfect accuracy for something that is a weapon of last resort with a 1km blast radius and 500,000 km^2 fallout radius.

This is very much a solved problem, for several decades now. US and Russian naval submarines routinely patrol for thousands of miles over weeks or months, without surfacing.


It's not mentioned in the article, but I believe US subs also have a long-tether communications buoy that can float to the surface, but not expose itself vertically, to communicate with satellites. I would be surprised if it did not also have a GPS antenna.

Status-6 is terrifying. Yet one more reason why trying to defend against MAD is a horrible idea.

Well, the point of MAD is that you can't defend against it

Exactly, but for a few decades now the US has been trying to do so.

Didn’t Russia beat the USA to hypersonic glide missiles? I’d be interested to know what measures are deemed trying to defend against/defeat MAD.

Hypersonic glide vehicles are measures that strengthen MAD, not try to defeat them. And yes, they did beat the US to it. The purpose for HGV development was to evade ballistic missile defences.

It's not clear whether Russia actually has an operational HGV capability, or not.

For the record, it's also not clear with Status-6 is operational, either. But the technology behind Status-6 is pretty much all stuff that we already know they have working, whereas HGVs maybe not so much.

Avangard was demostrated to the US DoD: https://tass.com/defense/1092885

US Generals have said quite plainly that Russia and China are simply ahead in hypersonics, and I'm sure if the demonstration of Avangard to the US was dodgy they'd be called out.

It was a disinformation campaign about hypersonic missiles.

How so?

MAD implies rational/peer actors. Some of the US moves in recent decades have been to deter and counter rogue nuclear states such as NK.

I am talking about SDI and it's continuation under the Trump presidency, which actually was aimed at peer states.

Also, it's not about rationality at all, North Korea has so far behaved perfectly rationally.

I’m not sure what you mean by SDI - that died in the early 90’s. The post-Soviet missile defense system that the US developed (GMD) is aimed squarely at countering ICBMs from a small nuclear state like North Korea. Does the US have another missile defense system in the pipeline?

Straight from the horses' mouth: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/nuclear-weapons-china-a...

Multiple contracts were awarded for space-based missile tracking system that were specifically meant to deal with HGVs, so yes, there is another missile defense in the pipeline, that Pompeo literally called "SDI II".

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