KRND Burevestnik - Unlimited Range Cruise Missile
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, at the end of 2017, a successful launch of the newest Russian cruise missile with a nuclear power plant took place at the Central Range of the Russian Federation. In the course of the flight, the power plant reached the set power level, provided the necessary level of thrust. The launch of the missile and a complex of ground tests allow us to proceed to the creation of a fundamentally new type of weapons - a strategic complex of nuclear weapons with a missile equipped with a nuclear power plant. The range of the rocket is not limited, it can maneuver for any length of time, bypassing the defensive line.
In the "President's Address to the Federal Assembly" on 01 March 2018, Putin stated "Prospective weapons systems in Russia are based on the latest unique achievements of our scientists, designers, engineers. One of them is the creation of a small-sized superpower nuclear power plant, which is housed in a cruise missile like our latest X-101 missile, air-launched or American, Tomahawk, but at the same time it provides dozens of times! - agreater range of flight, which is practically unlimited. A low-flying, barely noticeable cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead with practically unlimited range, unpredictable flight trajectory and the possibility of bypassing interception lines is invulnerable to all existing and prospective systems of both missile defense and air defense. These words I will pronounce today more than once.
"At the end of 2017, a successful launch of the newest Russian cruise missile with a nuclear power plant took place at the Central Range of the Russian Federation. In the course of the flight, the power plant reached the set power level, provided the necessary level of thrust. The launch of the missile and a complex of ground tests allow us to proceed to the creation of a fundamentally new type of weapons - a strategic complex of nuclear weapons with a missile equipped with a nuclear power plant."
At least one U.S. news report cited unnamed intelligence officials as saying a test model had even crashed recently in the Arctic. “It looks like they tested the thing. It's likely that the concept worked, but it is not clear how close it is to an actual [militarily useful] weapon,” Pavel Podvig, a Swiss-based researcher of Russian weaponry, told RFE/RL.
A cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe in late September 2017 likely originated from a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan, the French nuclear safety institute IRSN said. In an 09 November 2017 statement, IRSN ruled out an accident in a nuclear reactor, saying it was a likely leak in a nuclear fuel-treatment site or center for radioactive medicine. In recent weeks, IRSN and several other nuclear safety institutes in Europe had measured high levels of ruthenium 106, a radioactive nuclide which does not occur naturally and is the product of splitting atoms in a nuclear reactor. Because of its short half-life of about one year, ruthenium 106 is used in nuclear medicine.
There had been no impact on human health or the environment in Europe, said IRSN, the technical arm of the French nuclear regulator ASN, but it suggested random checks on food imports from the area where the cloud originated as a precaution. The IRSN statement said it could not accurately locate the release of radioactive material but, based on weather patterns, it most likely originated south of the Ural Mountains, between the Urals and the Volga River.
Representatives of Kazakhstan's Nuclear Physics Institute in Almaty told RFE/RL on November 10 that there were no nuclear leaks detected in Kazakhstan in September and October. Officials at the Kazakh Institute of Radiation Security and Ecology in the town of Kurchatov, in the East-Kazkahstan region, said Kazakhstan does not have facilities from which ruthenium may go into the air as the result of an accident.
IRSN estimated that the initial quantity of ruthenium 106 released was major, and that if an accident of this magnitude had happened in France it would have required the evacuation or sheltering of all the people in a radius of a few kilometers around the accident site.
In a remark that was widely overlooked at the time, in the "President's Address to the Federal Assembly" on 01 March 2018, Putin stated "As you know, there is no such thing in the world yet. One day, probably, will appear, but during this time our guys will think of something else."
As part of the improvement of the design of the cruise missile with the nuclear engine "Burevestnik", preparations were under way for its flight test on 19 July 2018. Simultaneously, technical means of preparation and launching are being developed, technological processes of manufacturing, assembly and testing of the missile are being improved, said Sergei Pertsev, chief scientific researcher at the 12th Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. "A low-flying, barely noticeable cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead with virtually unlimited range, an unpredictable flight path and the possibility of circumvention of interception lines is invulnerable to all existing and prospective systems of both missile defense and air defense," the military department said. They stressed that the creation of a cruise missile is carried out in a planned manner.
Russia is preparing to conduct flight tests of prototypes of the cruise missile "Burevestnik" with a nuclear engine that will be able to fly to unlimited range. This was stated in a statement of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, which was placed at the disposal of RT 19 July 2019. "On the basis of the specified requirements, the design of the rocket components is improved, ground tests are conducted, and the flight tests of the experimental samples of the cruise missile of the improved design are conducted," the department informed. It is noted that the creation of a cruise missile of unlimited range is proceeding in a planned manner. As specified in the Ministry of Defense, at the same time is the development of technical means of preparation and launching, improving the technological processes of manufacturing, assembly and testing of the missile.
Russia is preparing for a special operation to find a missile that fell into the Barents Sea. This was reported by CNBC. The American television channel refers to intelligence data. Allegedly the missile with a nuclear power plant was lost during the tests in November 2017. The missile launches themselves were conducted four times, from November 2017 to February 2018. In all four cases, it ended in failure. The longest of the tests lasted about two minutes. The rocket flew about 35 kilometers and fell, according to TASS.
In the operation to find and lift the missile from the seabed, three vessels will be involved, one of them is equipped with equipment for working with radioactive substances. The date of the beginning of the operation is not reported. It is also unknown whether damage to human health or the environment is possible in connection with the alleged damage to the nuclear reactor of the missile. Meanwhile, information about the fall of the missile in the Barents Sea is not confirmed by the Council of Federation. "There is no information, I can not confirm, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Eugene Serebrennikov told "Interfax".
Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, in his turn, called the message of the American channel a purposeful information operation of the United States. According to him, it is timed to the opened forum "Army-2018" in order to discredit the new Russian developments, to sow doubts in them. According to the interlocutor of the agency, there is a high probability that behind the message of the American television channel are the structures of the Pentagon, which are responsible for information operations in cyberspace.
The CNBC report on allegedly unsuccessful tests of a Russian cruise missile with a nuclear power plant is not the first thing the television channel has done on this topic. At the end of May 2018, CNBC, citing familiar with the US intelligence report, sources published information according to which all tests conducted from November 2017 to February 2018 were unsuccessful. In particular, it was alleged that during the testing the nuclear power plant (the main one for such a missile) was not launched.
President's press secretary Dmitry Peskov in response to the CNBC report advised journalists to listen to the head of state and believe him.
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