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
"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."