During his speech at the Valdai Discussion Club on October 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the successful test of the Burevestnik nuclear-powered missile.
According to Putin, the work on modern types of strategic weapons, which he announced several years ago, was nearing completion. It goes about such inter-continental ballistic missiles as Sarmat and Burevestnik.
"The last successful test of the Burevestnik missile, a global-range cruise missile with a nuclear propulsion system, has been completed," Putin said.
Mass production of these missiles and their transition to the alert status is to begin in the near future, the president noted.
The head of state spoke in detail about Sarmat and Burevestnik in March 2018 during his Address to the Federal Assembly.
Russia has created a small-sized, ultra-powerful nuclear power plant that can be installed in the body of a cruise missile and thus ensures nearly unlimited range for the vehicle. In addition, the missile becomes practically invulnerable to all air defences, the Russian president said.
"A low-flying stealth cruise missile with a nuclear warhead, with a virtually unlimited range, unpredictable flight path and the ability to bypass interception lines, is invulnerable to all existing and future missile and air defence systems," President Putin said.
According to foreign media outlets, the tests of the Burevestnik missile were mostly carried out at training grounds of the Russian Defence Ministry on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, as well as near the village of Nenoksa in the Arkhangelsk region.
On October, The New York Times wrote that Russia was getting ready for Burevestnik missile tests. NYT journalists came to this conclusion having analysed satellite images depicting the movement of aircraft and vehicles in the area of the Pankovo training ground on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov then advised NYT journalists to study satellite images in more detail.
There is practically no official information about design peculiarities of the new cruise missile. The Russian Defence Ministry has never provided any detail about the missile.
However, retired colonel Andrei Koshkin, a senior officer at the Russian Economic University named after Plekhanov, said that the Burevestnik missile had an infinite flight range and could overcome any obstacles.
"It is about 12 meters long and one meter wide. Its fin assembly is pretty large. It will carry a megaton to be a strategic nuclear weapon," Andrei Koshkin said.
NATO designated Burevestnik as SSC-X-9 Skyfall.
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