This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Russian. (August 2019) Click [show] for important translation instructions.
The 9M730 Burevestnik (Russian: Буревестник; "Petrel", NATO reporting name: SSC-X-9 Redrod) is a Russian experimental nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile under development for the Russian Armed Forces. The missile has an essentially unlimited range.
|Type||Nuclear-powered cruise missile|
|Place of origin||Russia|
|In service||Under developement|
|Unit cost||5,200,000 USD|
|Maximum firing range||Unlimited|
The Burevestnik is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018.
|Nuclear-powered cruise missile with unlimited range on YouTube|
|"Burevestnik" cruise missile in a manufacturing plant on YouTube|
The Soviet Union and later Russia have been uncertain since the 1980s to what extent their ICBM nuclear arsenal is nullified by the United States' anti-ballistic missile system Strategic Defense Initiative, proposed during the Reagan Administration and commonly known as the Star Wars program. This type of weapon flies under the ballistic weapon shield and is part of President Putin's broader program to attempt to advance Russian nuclear strike capability.
The Russian defense industry began developing an intercontinental-range nuclear-powered cruise missile capable of penetrating any interceptor-based missile defense system. It is said to have unlimited range and ability to evade missile defenses. A major stage of trials of the cruise missile of the Burevestnik complex, the tests of the nuclear power unit, were successfully completed in January 2019.[better source needed]
The cruise missile received the name Burevestnik (which translates as Storm petrel, a seabird) as a result of an open vote on the website of the Ministry of Defence of Russia.
According to Vladimir Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defense, the missile's dimensions are comparable to those of the Kh-101 cruise missile and it is equipped with a small-sized nuclear power unit. The claimed operational range is orders of magnitude greater than that of Kh-101. As shown in an official presentation, the missile starts from an inclined launcher using a detachable rocket booster.
Pavel Ivanov from VPK-news states that the cruise missile is one and a half to two times the size of the Kh-101, the wings of the Burevestnik are rooted "on top of the fuselage, rather than below it like on the Kh-101", and also notes that there are "characteristic protrusions where air is most likely heated by the nuclear reactor". According to Ivanov, the mass of the Burevestnik is "several times to order of magnitude" greater than that of the Kh-101, which eliminates Tu-160 and Tu-95 as potential carriers of the missile.
According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Burevestnik is a nuclear thermal rocket with a solid-fueled booster engine. The length of the missile is 12 m (39 ft) at launch and 9 m (30 ft) in flight. The nose has the shape of an "ellipse 1 m (3.3 ft) × 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in size".
Military expert Anton Lavrov in the Izvestia article suggested that the design of the Burevestnik uses a ramjet engine, which, unlike the more traditional propulsion systems for nuclear weapons, will have radioactive exhaust throughout its entire operation.
Stratfor, an American geopolitical intelligence platform, assumes that Burevestnik utilizes a turbojet engine and a liquid-fueled booster.
According to James Hockenhull, the UK's Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), the Burevestnik is a "sub-sonic nuclear-powered cruise missile system which has global reach and would allow attack from unexpected directions". Per Hockenhull, the missile would have "a near indefinite loiter time".
Nyonoksa radiation accidentEdit
On 9 August 2019, the Russian nuclear energy agency Rosatom confirmed a release of radioactivity at the State Central Navy Testing Range at Nyonoksa near Severodvinsk in northern Russia and stated it was linked to an accident involving the test of an "isotope power source for a liquid-fuelled rocket engine". Five weapons scientists were killed in the accident. Nonproliferation expert Jeffrey Lewis and Federation of American Scientists fellow Ankit Panda suspect the incident resulted from a test of the Burevestnik cruise missile. However, other arms control experts disputed the assertions: Ian Williams of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and James Acton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace expressed skepticism over Moscow's financial and technical capabilities to field the weapon, while Michael Kofman of the Wilson Center concluded that the explosion was probably not related to Burevestnik but instead to the testing of another military platform.
According to CNBC, the explosion occurred during an attempt to recover a missile from the seabed which was lost during a previously failed test. On 10 October, Thomas DiNanno, member of the United States delegation to the United Nations General Assembly First Committee, stated that the "August 8th 'Skyfall' incident [...] was the result of a nuclear reaction that occurred during the recovery of a Russian nuclear-powered cruise missile", which "remained on the bed of the White Sea since its failed test early last year".
On 26 August, Aleksei Karpov, Russia's envoy to international organizations in Vienna, stated that the accident was linked to the development of weapons which Russia had to begin creating as "one of the tit-for-tat measures in the wake of the United States' withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty".
On 21 November, at the ceremony of presentation of posthumous awards to the dead men's families, Vladimir Putin stated that the scientists killed in the August 8th explosion had been testing an “unparalleled” weapon: “We are talking about the most advanced and unparalleled technical ideas and solutions about weapons design to ensure Russia’s sovereignty and security for decades to come". He also noted that the "weapon is to be perfected regardless of anything".
- Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System (Poseidon) – a Russian nuclear torpedo / drone submarine, also built around a miniature nuclear propulsion unit
- Supersonic Low Altitude Missile (SLAM) – an American project to develop a nuclear-powered cruise missile, cancelled in 1964
- Project Pluto – the nuclear ramjet engine development program for SLAM
- ^ a b Trakimavičius, Lukas. "The Future Role of Nuclear Propulsion in the Military" (PDF). NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence. Retrieved 2021-10-15.
- ^ Panda, Ankit [@nktpnd] (20 November 2018). "Update from a source: Russia's Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile has a NATO designator – SSC-X-9 SKYFALL. (USIC also calls this missile the KY30.)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- ^ a b "Russian nuclear engineers buried after 'Skyfall nuclear' blast". Al Jazeera. 13 August 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
- ^ a b Lendon, Brad (20 July 2018). "Russia shows off new weapons after Trump summit". CNN. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- ^ Gady, Franz-Stefan (2 March 2018). "Russia Reveals 'Unstoppable' Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- ^ "Reagan's Star Wars". Cold War: A Brief History. Retrieved 2019-09-26 – via Atomic Archive.
- ^ Lambeth, Benjamin S.; Lewis, Kevin (Spring 1988). "The Kremlin and SDI". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
- ^ Roblin, Sebastien (18 August 2019). "Russia's Nuclear-Powered 'Skyfall' Missile with Unlimited Range: A Doomsday Weapon?". The National Interest. Retrieved 2019-09-26.
- ^ "Tests of Burevestnik nuclear powered cruise missile successfully completed, says source". TASS. 16 February 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
- ^ "Россияне выбрали названия для новейшего отечественного оружия" (in Russian). «РИА Новости». 23 March 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
- ^ Osborn, Andrew (23 March 2018). "Russia names Putin's new 'super weapons' after a quirky public vote". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
- ^ "Послание Президента Федеральному Собранию". kremlin.ru (in Russian). 1 March 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
- ^ Иванов, Павел. ""Буревестник" знает, куда летит". «Military Industrial Courier (in Russian). Retrieved 24 November 2019.
- ^ Александр Шарковский (17 February 2019). "Ядерный "Буревестник" стал реальностью" (in Russian). Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
- ^ Антон Лавров (26 February 2019). "Хвост "Буревестника"" (in Russian). Izvestia.
- ^ "Russia's New Arms Give the U.S. Room for Pause". Stratfor. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
- ^ "Russian nuclear-powered cruise missile could 'circle the globe for years'". The Daily Telegraph. 13 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
- ^ Roth, Andrew (10 August 2019). "Russian nuclear agency confirms role in rocket test explosion". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
- ^ Kramer, Andrew E. (10 August 2019). "Russia Confirms Radioactive Materials Were Involved in Deadly Blast". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
- ^ "Russian scientists killed in missile test explosion were working on 'new weapons'". The Defense Post. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
- ^ Landay, Jonathan (10 August 2019). "U.S.-based experts suspect Russia blast involved nuclear-powered missile". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2019-08-11. Retrieved 2019-08-12.
- ^ "Is Russia's Doomsday Missile Fake News?". Foreign Policy. 22 August 2019.
- ^ Michael Kofman (15 August 2019). "Mystery explosion at Nenoksa test site: it's probably not Burevestnik".
- ^ Macias, Amanda (21 August 2019). "US intel report says mysterious Russian explosion was triggered by recovery mission of nuclear-powered missile, not a test". CNBC. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- ^ "2019 UN General Assembly First Committee of the United States of America General Debate Statement by Thomas G. DiNanno" (PDF). statements.unmeetings.org. 10 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- ^ Kramer, Andrew E. (26 August 2019). "Russia Identifies 4 Radioactive Isotopes From Nuclear Accident". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- ^ "Putin vows to perfect mystery rocket after engine blast". BBC. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
- ^ "Putin Says 'Unparalleled' Weapons Tested at Deadly Nuclear Accident Site". The Moscow Times. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
- ^ "Путин рассказал о погибших в Северодвинске, создававших уникальное оружие". RIA Novosti (in Russian). 21 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
- Digges, Charles (12 August 2019). "Russia says small nuclear reactor blew up in deadly Arctic accident". Bellona Foundation.
- Digges, Charles (19 August 2019). "Russian doctors not warned patients came from mysterious radioactive blast, says report". Bellona Foundation.
- Digges, Charles (20 August 2019). "Russian radiation detectors went dark in wake of mysterious explosion". Bellona Foundation.
- "Ракета 9М730 / Крылатая ракета с ЯЭУ". militaryrussia.ru (in Russian). 4 March 2018.
- "Крылатая ракета неограниченной дальности с ядерной энергетической установкой" [Nuclear-powered cruise missile with unlimited range] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2022-04-03. Retrieved 2019-11-28. - MoD of the Russian Federation official website.