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9M730 missile could reach and destroy any metropolis in the US, experts point

MOSCOW, (BM) – Russian military experts have expressed their opinion to journalists of the Military-Industrial Courier that the 9M730 Burevestnik [Petrel in English – ed.] missile can “easily” reach and destroy any significant metropolis in the United States, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned. According to them, this missile can be detected on radar shortly before it hits the target.

Read more: Russia tested a low-flying and barely noticeable nuclear-powered cruise missile

The 9M730 Burevestnik is a Russian nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile discussed a lot in the last 24 months. Military experts believe that the rocket can carry nuclear warheads with a total of two megatons of nuclear charge. “The rocket can only be seen on the radar for a second, after which it will disappear from it, and the operator will not understand what is happening,” are the final estimates of the experts.

9M730 Burevestnik is a popular development in the military. In 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a short interview in which he described the missile’s main characteristics. “This is a low-flying and inconspicuous cruise missile. Its trajectory is unpredictable and can bypass intercept lines,” Putin explained at the time. “Burevestnik deprives the United States of its military advantage,” the Russian edition of FAN wrote on June 4 this year.

It is unknown at this time whether Russia has tested even one of the 9M730 Burevestnik missiles. The data are unconfirmed, multidirectional, and, in many cases, arouse doubts. U.S. intelligence sources quoted by the CNBC say the missile will not be ready until the end of 2025. Many have linked the August 2019 incident to a mysterious explosion off Russia’s northern coast with a failed missile test. Simultaneously, U.S. intelligence has information that the Russian 9M730 Burevestnik missile known as Skyfall still passed several tests in November 2017 – February 2018. Each of the tests was unsuccessful.

But by the middle of this year, many sources, including centers in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands, said Russia had successfully tested the missile. In July, an article by Popular Mechanics reported that the iodine-131 isotopes detected in the air at one of the test sites in northwestern Russia are of artificial origin. If we look at the wind data from this period, the tests were most likely conducted in the Arkhangelsk region, where the test site is locating.

“Officials in Finland, Norway, and Sweden have discovered artificial radionuclides, which do not occur naturally. Norway detected Iodine-131 at air monitoring stations in Svanhovd and Wikshofjell, as well as at a nuclear weapons monitoring facility in Svalbard,” the article’s author said.

“An analysis by the Dutch National Institute of Public Health indicates that the source of radiation is Russia’s western part. Authorities believe that the leak, first discovered in early June, comes from western Russia. One version is that the test is somehow related to a new cruise missile with a nuclear installation,” the author also said. Nevertheless, the Russian side has not yet confirmed the tests and any connection with radioactive particles’ release into the atmosphere.

Read more: US warned: Russia will test a dangerous nuclear cruise missile near the Arctic Circle

How 9M730 Burevestnik works?

There is still no clear understanding of exactly how the propulsion system of the Burevestnik is arranged. There is only a version that it is a gas-phase nuclear rocket engine with a working fluid from atmospheric air, writes “N+1”. Simply put, we are talking about a small reactor, a controlled chain reaction of which heats the air passing through the air intake and pushed out of the nozzle. At the same time, the same air acts as a cooling element of the reactor. Therefore, such a rocket can “exist” only during flight at high speed, without cooling it will immediately begin to melt the reactor.

Most likely, Burevestnik has a solid-fuel engine to accelerate the rocket, after which, at a certain speed, the reactor is activated, nuclear technology expert Valentin Gibalov and military expert Alexander Golts explained on Radio Liberty. The world community has actively discussed how strongly such a propulsion system will pollute the atmosphere. Presumably, the Burevestnik has a closed reactor in which the air does not directly contact the reactor core, which means that the radioactive trail from such a rocket will be very small.

Military expert at Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine Alexei Leonkov calls the Burevestnik a weapon of retaliation. “Weapons that will be used after intercontinental ballistic missile warheads” work out ” on the territory of the aggressor. “Burevestnik” will complete the rout of all objects of the military and civilian infrastructure of the aggressor country, leaving her no chance of survival” Leonkov writes in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

In addition, “Burevestnik” probably has a navigation system at extreme points in the terrain. The product’s memory contains images of terrain objects on the flight route. At a certain time, the rocket makes a “jump” to a height of several hundred meters and “inspects” the terrain. Then the navigation system compares the “seen” with the standard laid down, write “Izvestia”. Thanks to the correction system for extreme points of the terrain, Petrel can go around obstacles.

What exploded in Severodvinsk?

On August 8, 2019, at the Nenoks training ground near Severodvinsk, a rocket propulsion system of a liquid rocket exploded during tests, the Ministry of Defense said. Rosatom reported that five employees of the state corporation became victims of the incident. The administration of Severodvinsk noted that a short-term increase in the radiation background was recorded. In turn, the Ministry of Defense insists that there were no harmful emissions into the atmosphere, and the radiation background remained normal.

What exactly exploded, the Ministry of Defense and Rosatom did not specify. Nuclear weapons expert Jeffrey Lewis on Twitter drew public attention to satellite images showing that the specialized vessel Serebryanka, which collects and stores liquid radioactive waste, is located near the site of the explosion. Lewis believes that Serebryanka appeared in the area due to tests of a Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile.

Read more: Nuclear ‘Flying Chernobyl’ missile dramatically expands space prospects of Russia

The same version was voiced by US President Donald Trump. “The explosion caused many to worry about air pollution in the test area and at a great distance from them. This is not good,” Trump tweeted.

Colleagues of those killed near Severodvinsk said that an accident occurred during a test launch of a rocket. Immediately after starting from the offshore platform, the engine failed and the rocket fell into the sea. She was removed from the bottom to study the causes of a possible failure. At that moment, when it was above the surface, an explosion occurred, writes Baza.

On September 11, CNBC, citing American intelligence sources, reported that the explosion in the Arkhangelsk region did not occur during new missile tests, but during an operation to lift a missile that drowned during previous tests. The same version is put forward by Radio Liberty based on messages from local residents on social networks. There is no official confirmation that the Petrel exploded near Severodvinsk.

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