Free Beacon: State Official Says Russian Nuclear-Armed Drone Sub Threatens US

Image: Free Beacon: State Official Says Russian Nuclear-Armed Drone Sub Threatens US Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. (Kyodo via AP Images)

By Cathy Burke   |   Wednesday, 02 Dec 201

Russia's newly developed nuclear-armed submarine drone threatens America's coastal cities and U.S. officials are confronting Moscow about the "troubling" weapon system, a top State Department official says.

The Washington Free Beacon reports Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, told a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees that the nuclear drone becomes an even bigger issue if "widely put into operation."

"I know we are concerned about it; of course we are concerned about it as threat to the United States," she told Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner, who remarked even one armed drone sub "would probably be sufficiently troubling."

"I think it is a troubling system, sir," Gottemoeller replied.

The NATO code name for the drone which the Free Beacon reports would be armed with a multi-megaton nuclear warhead for use against U.S. harbors and coastal cities, is "Kanyon."

The armed drone was first unveiled in a Russian government-controlled NTV television Nov. 10 that reported a document describing a drone sub that would be carried underneath a submarine, the Free Beacon reports.

A CIA analysis of the broadcast assessed the revelation as akin to Russian saber-rattling, the Free Beacon reports.

But Alabama Republican Rep. Mike Rogers called the frightening development "nuts."

"According to the Russian translations of what was disclosed, this weapon would provide Russia a new capability to damage '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,'" Rogers said.

"What does it say about a country that feels that nuclear weapons are such a significant tool of its military and diplomatic strategy that it discloses systems in this manner? And what does this say about a country that would invest resources in such a weapon? This is just nuts."

Rogers added the only time President Barack Obama discussed nuclear weapons is "when he wants to propose reducing them."

"The world is paying attention. We need our president to change his rhetoric," Rogers warned.

Gottemoeller declined to say exactly what task the United States is taking to the threat, but said the weapon system was being discussed with Russian officials and that U.S. officials were making "it clear to them that it is a concern of the United States of America."

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