Two federal television channels carried footage on 9 November of a potential new Russian Navy nuclear torpedo.
The development was revealed during footage showing President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and military commanders meeting in Sochi on the Black Sea to discuss defence issues, including Russian defence budget funding and key US developments such as missile defence.
News coverage included shots of documents being reviewed, with some of the documents appearing to depict weapons systems being developed.
Some of the illustrations were blurred. One however was not and footage showed a system titled 'Okeanskaya Mnogotselevaya Sistema Status-6' (oceanic multi-purpose system Status-6). Although the footage subsequently was edited out, the programme was widely recorded and was rapidly commented on in Russian media and elsewhere.
The images suggest that the Status-6 system is a long-range, high-speed nuclear torpedo being developed by the St Petersburg-based Rubin Central Design Bureau.
Powered by a small nuclear reactor and appearing to have a nuclear weapons capability, the torpedo is described in the material as having a range of more than 6,000 n miles, with a speed of 60 mph at a maximum depth of 3,000 ft. An armoured version able to withstand torpedo countermeasures was also outlined.
According to a description of the system's capability, it is designed to deny access to important economic facilities in an adversary's coastal area and to be able to inflict extensive radioactive contamination that would render such areas incapable of supporting military, economic, or other activities for a lengthy period.
According to the material, the torpedo should be ready to undergo acceptance trials in 2020.