The 9M730 Burevestnik (Russian: Буревестник; "Petrel", NATO reporting name: SSC-X-9 Skyfall) is a Russian experimental nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile under development for the Russian Armed Forces. The missile is claimed to have virtually unlimited range.
|Type||Nuclear-powered cruise missile|
|Place of origin||Russia|
|Maximum firing range||Virtually unlimited|
Design and developmentEdit
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 dodge missile defenses. The name of the weapon was chosen by the unusual route of a public vote. 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.
The Soviet Union and later Russia have been uncertain since the 1980’s to what extent their ICBM nuclear arsenal is nullified by the United State’s anti-ballistic missile systems or SDI, 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 re-balance his nuclear strike capability.
Nyonoksa radiation accidentEdit
On 9 August 2019, the Russian nuclear energy agency Rosatom confirmed a release of radiation at the Nyonoksa missile testing site 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". 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, the researcher Michael Kofman, Fellow at the Wilson Center disputed the assertions, and believes the explosion was probably not related to Burevestnik. Five weapons scientists were killed in the incident.
- 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.
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- Michael Kofman (15 August 2019). "Mystery explosion at Nenoksa test site: it's probably not Burevestnik".
- "Russia's top nuclear official says work on new weapons will continue". Press TV. 13 August 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
- "Russian scientists killed in missile test explosion were working on 'new weapons'". The Defense Post. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
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- 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.