Russia is ready to carry out flight tests its Burevestnik nuclear cruise missile, an official of the Ministry of Defense claimed, as reported by TASS. The official also continued “the missile’s component makeup is being improved based on clarified requirements, while ground tests continue and preparations are being made for experimental flight tests of the improved missile.” However, they iterated that the work on the unlimited-range missile is going according to plan.
Currently, the launching systems are also being designed and the technological processes to manufacture, assemble and test the missile are being enhanced. The Ministry official notes that this work would allow for the creation of an entirely new strategic nuclear complex, armed with a nuclear missile.
TASS also reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly that the unlimited-range missile had been tested in late 2017. Work on the weapon began when US withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in December 2001. It’s aim is to respond to Washington’s establishment of global missile defenses.
According to unconfirmed sources, quoted by CNBC, the previous tests in the last quarter of 2017 all resulted in failure. Allegedly the US assessed that the longest test flight lasted 22 miles or just a few minutes before operators lost control and the missile crashed. The shortest test supposedly lasted only 4 seconds and flew five miles. Anonymous sources also explained to CNBC that the missile uses a gasoline-powered engine at takeoff, after which it switches to the nuclear-powered one.
The Head of the 12th Central Research Institute at Russia’s Defense Ministry Sergey Pertsev, quoted by TASS, claims that the tests of the new cruise missile, equipped with a small nuclear power unit have confirmed the accuracy of the technical decisions of the Russian designers, engineers and researchers. The tests further allowed researchers to gather information necessary to specify a number of requirements.
The Russian Defense Ministry has stressed “that a low-flying and low observable cruise missile carrying a nuclear warhead, with an almost unlimited range, an unpredictable trajectory and capability to bypass interception lines is invincible to all the existing and advanced air and missile defense systems.”
The announcement of the Burevestnik tests comes together with the announcement of details surrounding Russia’s two other new missile technologies. The Kinzhal, which is capable of reaching Mach 10 speeds and shall be mounted on a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber and is highly maneuverable and can strike targets at up to 3,000 km. While the other weapon is the Avangard missile system, which on July 19th, after an announcement of the Ministry of Defense, is ready to enter mass production. The glider warhead can reach speeds of more than Mach 20, which makes it invulnerable to any existing or prospective anti-aircraft or missile defense systems.
The Russian Ministry of Defense reiterates that the creation of state-of-the-art weapons is aimed solely at enhancing Russia’s defensive capabilities and only plays a deterring role against the country and its allies.