The United States is jubilant: according to its intelligence report, since 2017, Russia has tested the newest cruise missile “Burevestnik” (SSC-X-9 Skyfall according to NATO classification) with a small-sized overpowered nuclear power plant and all attempts have ended Failures. This was announced with undisguised pleasure by the largest American cable and satellite business news channel CNBC.
So what: Americans, in trouble which clearly creates a formidable novelty with almost unlimited range, can sleep peacefully? If so, it will probably be very short-lived. What follows from CNBC’s further explanations. Because in the wake of gloating reports of Moscow’s design failures, the report, citing all the same state intelligence, says that Russia is trying to speed up work on the project so that the new missiles are “ready for war” until 2025.
Very short for those who do not know: for the first time in the open about the ongoing work in our country to create the “Burevestnik” President Vladimir Putin told March 1, 2018, in his message to the Federal Assembly. The statement of the head of state was accompanied by a sensational video of the missile launch. According to Putin, the new weapon has an unpredictable flight path, which makes it invulnerable to both existing and prospective missile and air defense systems. Because our potential adversaries in this direction did not work at that time. That forced Russia’s sworn “friends” to immediately begin to criticize the project for almost inevitable pollution, even at the testing stage. Not to mention the apocalyptic results of the combat use of new weapons.
These suspicions only strengthened on August 8 this year, when a certain explosion occurred at a military training ground near the village of Nenoxa (Arhangel region), killing five of our test scientists and injuring three others. In nearby Severodvinsk, a short-term (from 11:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Moscow time) was recorded, a jump in the radiation background to 2 micro Sv/h at the usual level of 0.11 micro Sv. A message about this appeared on the website of the city administration but was soon deleted. In 24 hours, according to some data, the arrows of dosimeters briefly, but significantly swung in Arkhangelsk, where, apparently, got a radioactive cloud.
According to the Ministry of Defense, a liquid jet engine, which used a radioisotope power source, exploded at the test site. But in the West, they immediately voted: under Nenox a “Thunderbird” is tested. This surge of public interest in our military secrets has, of course, spawned the current leak from Us military intelligence, for which CNBC was chosen.
According to this data, the “Thunderbird” tests have passed once this year. Four more are from November 2017 to February 2018.
Earlier in the States, there were data, from which it follows that during all the time of work on the program August test launch near Lenox was at least the fourteenth. The previous ones were performed in the deserted archipelago of New Earth, where nuclear weapons have been tested since the Soviet Union. Namely, in the area of the Pankova Peninsula, land, from the territory of the so-called “D zone automation command post” located near the settlement of Pankovo.
The longest flight of the prototype rocket, according to CNBC, lasted more than two minutes, during which “Burevestnik” covered 35.4 kilometers (it seems that on this day and was filmed video of the only relatively successful launch of the cruise missile, which in March 2018 saw fit to show the world, Putin). The shortest test, U.S. scouts say, failed just four seconds after liftoff.
Does this give Washington a little breath? Of course not. Because Russia has definitely achieved a major technological breakthrough in the construction of a surprisingly compact nuclear reactor. And far behind left in this case any of the countries of the West. After all, if you fully trust last year’s statement of Putin, the reactor was able to push into the hull, in its size similar to the hull of the aviation strategic cruise missile X-101. The latter is 7.5 meters long and only 0.7 meters in diameter.
However, it certainly follows the conclusion that this reactor has no biological protection. And in the event of the crash of the “Thunderbird”, it will become an inevitable problem for the area on which it will fall. By the way, it is for this reason that at one time the Americans, since the 50s of the last century tried to create their own rocket under the designation SLAM (Supersonic Low Altitude Missile, supersonic low-altitude missile) with a nuclear power plant in Pluto project, have curtailed their work. Although by that time they had managed to create two prototypes of the new engine (Tory-IIA and Tory-IIC), which even produced the inclusion of reactors. The air in them was heated to colossal temperatures of about 1700 degrees Celsius, which allowed to create a very powerful thrust for an almost unlimited time. three meters in diameter and a mass of 28 tons. The flight range is at least 182,000 kilometers. The Pentagon believed that in the event of a threat of serious war, a flock of such missiles after launch will long barrage in the desert area in anticipation of the command “Attack!” And only then rushes at pre-set objects.
But, first, the reactor in such weapons was cooled by the air flowing through it, which became radioactive and even in itself heavily polluted the environment. Secondly, the rumbling on the areas over which the missile would fly would stand as if a powerful locomotive had rumbled directly above the head of the population. In addition, radioactive fallout was inevitable along the entire ROUTE of the SLAM flight. Therefore, the Pluto project was closed in 1964.
Has Russia managed to overcome these problems when it began to create the “Thunderbird”? Not sure. And what happened under Nenox a month and a half ago, apparently, can be considered an indirect confirmation of these fears. The fact that previous test launches were conducted over the virtually uninhabited New Earth is in the same row.
But it can be assumed that the new weapon may become a kind of addition to the famous Soviet system “Perimeter” nicknamed “Dead Hand” in the West. It is a complex of automatic control of a guaranteed massive nuclear strike (the RVSN URV index is 15E601, in Western Europe and the United States is known as English. Dead Hand, literally “The Hand of the Dead”), will be inflicted after all our military and political decision-making centers in a matter of minutes destroy the enemy in accordance with the Pentagon’s concept of Limited Nuclear War.
It is clear that if such unthinkable happens, then all of us (even those who survive) will be deeply “purple” and unimaginable rumbling from heaven, and radioactive contamination of anything and anywhere. But the enemy “Burevestnik” really once again will make you think: is it worth putting your finger on the “red” button?
Perhaps all these arguments are grounds for serious discussion. But here’s what’s undeniable: Americans here are far behind us, even though Trump boasted that they have a long time and something better. If “Agent Donald” was referring to his Pluto project dusted on the shelves, today it is the Stone Age for Russian nuclear power. At least because it is much easier to push the reactor into the three-meter diameter of the SLAM rocket than the four more modest size of the Thunderbird. And composite materials, able to withstand the colossal temperatures of the jet for a long time, in the 50s simply did not exist.
In conclusion, is it worth the U.S. to rejoice that at least fourteen tests of the newest Russian missile have so far ended only partial successes? Such stories are common in the process of building the latest missile weapons in any country. Have you forgotten in what torments were born, for example, our intercontinental solid-fuel ballistic missile R-30 Bulava for placement on nuclear submarine cruisers of strategic purpose of the project 955 “Borey”? From September 23, 2004, to August 24, 2019, 32 control launches were made. Only 22 of them were considered successful and two were partially successful. But to date, the atomic ships “Dmitry Dolgorukiy,” “Vladimir Monomakh” and “Alexander Nevsky” with their “Bulava crushed more than one peg at the Kura training ground in Kamchatka. Works, although this rocket was born in agony.
Do not doubt: “Thunderbird” will also be taught to fly and get where it is necessary. After all, the Ekaterinburg-e-design bureau “Novator” is working on it. The very thing that not so long ago in a way developed the family of Russian high-precision cruise missiles “Kalibr” that became famous all over the world. Yes, the Calibers fly on conventional engines. But the reactors for the “Burevestnik” have long been ready and confirmed their performance. The “innovator” has to combine one with the other. And Russia’s “Dead Hand” will become extraordinarily long and inevitable. So that one day you won’t be dead.