Following the dramatic US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) within the last month and amidst continuing tit-for-tat accusations between Moscow and Washington since then, which even appears to have imperiled the future of the New START treaty, Russia is aggressively touting its new nuclear cruise missile, the 9M730 Burevestnik (or “Storm Petrel”), which Russian media reports say has entered the final stage of testing and development.
The Kremlin is claiming the nuclear-powered, nuclear-tipped cruise missile has “unlimited” range and advance superior maneuvering capabilities against anti-air defenses. Russian media previously last week reported based on official state sources that the missile’s nuclear power unit was successfully tested in January 2018.
The announcement appears a follow-up to a series of promises that President Putin made back in March of last year at the annual Russian state of the union address, according to TASS, “in a message to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia developed a small-sized nuclear power mechanism that can be used in a cruise missile, which will allow it to receive a virtually unlimited range.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) followed Putin’s statements by releasing video purporting to confirm the hypersonic weapons claims, including what appeared to be a test of the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, though still impossible for analysts to confirm the extent of the truthfulness of the nuclear fueled flight.
To get a sense of the extent to which Moscow is putting Washington on notice amidst the latest INF controversy, RT touts the missile as “even able to circle around the globe for days, if required.”
US Tomahawk missiles, by comparison, are designed to hit ranges to within a maximum 2,500km, or 1,550 miles.
Last October at a speech at the Valdai Club in Sochi, Putin again bragged, “It is a fact of life that we are ahead of all our partners and competitors in this sphere of high precision, hypersonic weapons,” he said.
“No one else has that… In that sense, we feel very comfortable, very safe,” he added.
Full article: Russia Touts “Unlimited Range” Of New Nuclear Cruise Missile As INF Unravels (ZeroHedge)