During a meeting of military officials in Sochi, Russian TV crews captured footage of a document not intended for public consumption. The supposedly "secret data," which was subsequently shown on Russian television, revealed details of a "nuclear torpedo" designed to inflict "assured unacceptable damage" to enemy coastal installations.
As RT reports, a number of TV crews in attendance at the Tuesday meeting captured footage of a presentation slide titled "Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6," which allegedly showed details of a new nuclear submarine weapons system. The Kremlin has admitted that the footage, which appeared on TV, was "secret data" that should have never been broadcast.
The "leak" occurs at the 1:45 mark.
"It is true some secret data got into the shot, and it was subsequently deleted," confirmed presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. "We hope that this won't happen again."
— Евгений Шушаков (@EvShu) November 11, 2015
Of course, it's quite possible that this material was "accidentally" leaked on purpose — a veiled attempt at saber rattling. Indeed, it may have been deliberate; as the BBC reports, Russian government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta has reported details of the weapon without any visuals, while also speculating about a super-radioactive cobalt device.
Rossiiskaya Gazeta described the weapon as a "robotic mini-submarine" capable of travelling at 115 mph (185 km/h) and able to "avoid all acoustic tracking devices and other traps."
Here's how RT describes the "nuclear torpedo:"
The footnote to the slide stated that Status-6 is intended to cause "assured unacceptable damage" to an adversary force. Its detonation "in the area of the enemy coast" would result in "extensive zones of radioactive contamination" that would ensure that the region would not be used for "military, economic, business or other activity" for a "long time."
According to the blurred information provided in the slide, the system represents a massive torpedo, designated as "self-propelled underwater vehicle," with a range of up to 10 thousand kilometers and capable of operating at a depth of up to 1,000 meters.
It remains unclear if such a system is indeed being developed or the slide was presented as just one of the options the Russian military could hypothetically offer. However, according to the leaked paper, the weapons system could be developed by the Rubin design bureau for marine engineering, and may potentially be delivered using nuclear-powered "Project 09852" and "Project 09851" submarines.
During the Sochi meeting, where the future of Russia's military capabilities were being discussed, Putin stated that Russia will counter NATO's missile shield program via "strike systems capable of penetrating any missile defences," while adding that the Western defence project was "an attempt to undermine the existing parity in strategic nuclear weapons and essentially to upset the whole system of global and regional stability."