Thursday, September 29, 2022

Is Moscow preparing to test new weapons in the Arctic?

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Four years ago, Putin announced the development of a new missile that could not be intercepted by conventional air defense systems. New satellite images suggest Russia plans to test weapons in the Arctic. Previous field trials have been less successful.

New satellite images suggest Russia plans to test a new nuclear-powered cruise missile in the Arctic.This is what military expert Tony Roper writes on his blogIn a photo taken last week by satellite operator Airbus Defense and Space, he prepares to launch a 9M730 ‘Brevestnik’ rocket (NATO name SSC-X-9 ‘Skyfall’) at the Pankovo ​​test site on the twin islands. of Novaya Semiya.

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As proof, he said you can see the ‘Brevestnik’ shipping container in the photo next to the launch pad. He also sees as evidence that three of his supply ships, including the nuclear-powered Sebu Morput, are present off the island.

“Burevestnik” (“petrel” in English) was first announced in a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. At the time, Kremlin bosses claimed that the West had no defense against weapons. Low-flying allows you to approach the target from different directions, thus avoiding anti-aircraft systems.

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The cruise missile is said to be 10 meters long, weighs 5 to 6 tons, and can carry a nuclear warhead. The exact drive is still unclear. Experts suspect that a small air-cooled reactor is being used. That means the cruising range should be more than 25,000 kilometers. Danger here: Rockets can leave radioactive trails behind them during flight. In the 1960s, the United States pursued a similar project called “Pluto.” However, six and a half years later he stopped his studies in 1964.

However, the field trials of the ‘Brevestnik’ so far do not appear to have been very successful. In August 2019, a supposedly failed test run in northwestern Russia caused a severe explosion. Several people died in an accident at a military base in the White Sea. Occasionally, elevated radiation levels were measured in the area. According to US intelligence, the maximum flight time of the “Brevestnik” was only two minutes. None of the previous test rockets are said to have traveled more than 35 kilometers.

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Western experts express doubts about the concept of weapons. Rocket expert Marcus Schiller told Welt that a successful test doesn’t mean it’s ready to go. It may still be a long time before it is ready for use in disputes.

Source: N-TV

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