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North Korea has unveiled a new torpedo-shaped weapon, allegedly a large underwater unmanned vehicle (UUV), dubbed “the world’s most powerful weapon” and officially called the “Haeil.” Reports claim that the new weapon is nuclear-armed and can create a “radioactive tsunami” on detonation. The drone sub was unveiled at a military parade in Pyongyang on July 27th.
According to Interesting Engineering, the “Haeil” is powered by a nuclear reactor, can navigate autonomously with possible remote controllability for redirection, command update, or mission abort functions, and when functioning properly it can also travel for extremely long distances in complete secrecy below the ocean.
As reported by North Korean state media, the sub has already been tested as an underwater nuclear attack “drone.” During the alleged test, the drone traveled 1,000 km over 71 hours and 6 minutes, and by the end it also hit a simulated target.
Many military analysts have speculated about the unveiling of the Haeil, and most immediately compared it to Russia’s recently unveiled “Poseidon” nuclear torpedo. Like the Russian weapon, it is likely that the “Haeil” is propelled using a pump-jet propulsor to its rear.
Many doubts have been raised regarding Haeil’s nuclear power capabilities since it is most likely battery-powered, which would drastically limit the weapon’s range and significantly reduce its threat to neighboring nations like South Korea and Japan.
Furthermore, when considering the weapon’s size and the lack of suitable submarine motherships in the DPRK fleet, it would seem that it must be launched from a dockside pier or jetty or a specially-modified surface vessel.
Nevertheless, whatever role and capabilities are meant for this new underwater sub-drone, it is clear that North Korea is actively advancing and broadening its strategic systems.
This information was provided by Interesting Engineering.