News"Atomic-powered missile". Russians preparing to test their "weapon of annihilation"

"Atomic-powered missile". Russians preparing to test their "weapon of annihilation"

9M730 Burevestnik tests
9M730 Burevestnik tests
Images source: ©
ed. MZU

8:01 AM EDT, October 3, 2023, updated: 9:02 AM EDT, October 5, 2023

Satellite images and flight data suggest that Russia may be preparing to test an experimental nuclear-powered maneuvering missile, or may have recently tested it - reports "The New York Times". The range of such a missile could be up to several thousand kilometers.

According to the newspaper, the American intelligence claims that the movements of airplanes and vehicles at, and near a base in a remote Arctic Russian region, indicate preparations for tests of a missile known as Burevestnik, which was already tested a few years ago.

During the last two weeks, as the "NYT" writes, American reconnaissance planes were also moving in this area, and aviation alerts warned pilots to avoid the nearby airspace.

The journal cites a report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit organization that monitors arms control, according to which Russia conducted 13 known tests of Burevestnik between 2017 and 2019, all of which ended in failure, and one led to a tragedy.

Russia threatens with a new missile. A series of previous failures

The rocket launched in 2019 crashed and ultimately exploded, killing seven people, which was later confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

During these tests, as "NYT" writes, the rocket never flew a distance close to the projected range, over 20 thousand km - as the authors of the analysis indicate.

Americans assessed that during the most successful test flight, which lasted just over two minutes, the rocket flew 35 km before it hit the sea. In another test, the rocket's nuclear reactor did not function, causing the rocket to fall only a few miles from the launch site.

According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative report, this missile is a "second strike weapon with a strategic range," which would be launched after a wave of nuclear attacks had destroyed targets in Russia.

The missile could carry a nuclear charge smaller than most other types of nuclear weapons and, according to experts, if used during a war, it could potentially destroy large urban areas and military targets.

Related content