The United States welcomes the failed tests of our new weapons. But they have no doubt that in five years it will be ready.
The United States is jubilant: according to its intelligence, from 2017 Russia five times tested the latest Burevestnik cruise missile (SSC-X-9 Skyfall according to NATO classification) with a small-sized heavy-duty nuclear power plant and all attempts failed. This was reported with undisguised pleasure by CNBC, the largest American cable and satellite television channel for business news.
So what: Americans, who, unfortunately, are creating a formidable novelty with an almost unlimited range, can sleep peacefully? If so, then most likely it will be very short. What follows from further CNBC clarifications. Because, following the malevolent reports of Moscow’s design failures, the report, citing all the same US intelligence, says that Russia is trying in every possible way to speed up work on the project so that new missiles are “ready for war” by 2025.
Very briefly for those who are not in the know: for the first time openly about the work to create the Petrel, President Vladimir Putin spoke on March 1, 2018 in his message to the Federal Assembly. The statement by the head of state was accompanied by a sensational video of rocket launch. According to Putin, the new weapon has an unpredictable flight path, which makes it invulnerable to both all existing and advanced missile and air defense systems.
Apparently, for the West this turned out to be a shock. Since, quite accurately, our potential opponents did not work in this direction by that time. What made sworn “friends” of Russia by all means immediately begin to criticize the project for the almost inevitable pollution of the environment even at the test stage. Not to mention the apocalyptic results of the combat use of new weapons.
These suspicions only strengthened on August 8 of this year, when a certain explosion occurred at a military training ground near the village of Nenoksa (Arkhangelsk Region), as a result of which five of our test scientists were killed and three more people were injured. In neighboring Severodvinsk, a short-term jump (from 11:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Moscow time) of a background radiation jump of up to 2 μSv / h was recorded at the usual level of 0.11 μSv. A message about this appeared on the website of the city administration, but was soon deleted. A day later, according to some reports, the hands of the dosimeters swiftly but noticeably swayed in Arkhangelsk, where, apparently, the radioactive cloud reached.
According to the Ministry of Defense, a certain liquid-propellant engine that used a radioisotope power source exploded at the test site. But in the West they immediately voted: under the Nenoxa they experience the “Burevestnik”. This surge in public interest in our military secrets has certainly generated the current leak from US military intelligence, for which CNBC was chosen.
According to these data, the tests of the Burevestnik passed once this year. Four more – from November 2017 to February 2018.
Earlier data appeared in the States, from which it follows that for all the time working on the program, the August test run near Nenoksa was at least fourteenth. The previous ones were carried out on the uninhabited Novaya Zemlya archipelago, on which nuclear weapons were tested since the days of the USSR. Namely – in the area of the Pankov Peninsula, the land, from the territory of the so-called “Command post of automation of the zone” D “, located near the settlement of Pankovo.
The longest flight of the prototype rocket, according to CNBC, lasted more than two minutes, during which the Burevestnik covered 35.4 kilometers (it seems that on this day they made the video of the only comparatively successful launch of a cruise missile, which in March 2018 was demonstrated to the world by Putin). The shortest test, according to US intelligence, failed only four seconds after the start.
Does this give Washington any reason to take a breath? Of course not. Because it is absolutely certain that Russia has achieved a major technological breakthrough in the construction of a surprisingly compact nuclear reactor.
And far left behind in this matter any of the countries of the West. Indeed, if you fully trust Putin’s last year’s statement, they managed to push the reactor into a hull similar in size to the hull of the strategic strategic cruise missile X-101. The length of the latter is 7.5 meters, and the diameter is only 0.7 meters.
True, this probably leads to the conclusion that this reactor has no biological protection. And in the event of the collapse of the Petrel, it will become an inevitable problem for the terrain on which it falls. By the way, precisely for this reason, at one time, the Americans, who had been trying to create their own rocket under the designation SLAM (Supersonic Low Altitude Missile, supersonic low-altitude rocket) with a nuclear power plant as part of the Pluto project, backed off their work since the 1950s. Although by that time they had managed to create two prototypes of the new engine (Tory-IIA and Tory-IIC), on which reactors were even switched on. The air in them warmed up to colossal temperatures of about 1700 degrees Celsius, which made it possible to create a very powerful draft for almost unlimited time.
According to data released overseas, the length of that SLAM rocket was to be 26.8 meters, diameter – three meters, and weight – 28 tons. The flight range is at least 182 thousand kilometers. The Pentagon believed that in the event of a serious war, a flock of such missiles would, after launch, barrage for a long time in a deserted area awaiting the “Attack!” Command. And only then rushes to predefined objects.
But, firstly, the reactor in such a weapon was cooled by the air flowing through it, which became radioactive and even by itself greatly polluted the environment. Secondly, the rumble in the terrain over which the rocket would fly would stand as if a powerful locomotive rumbled right overhead. In addition, fallout was inevitable throughout the SLAM flight route. Therefore, in 1964, the Pluto project was closed.
Has Russia, when embarking on the creation of the Petrel, managed to overcome these problems? Not sure. And what happened near Nenoksa a month and a half ago, apparently, can be considered an indirect confirmation of these concerns. The fact that previous test launches were carried out on the practically uninhabited New Earth is in the same row.
But it can be assumed that the new weapon may become some kind of addition to the well-known Soviet system “Perimeter”, nicknamed in the West “Dead Hand”. This is a complex of automatic control of a guaranteed massive retaliatory nuclear strike (RVS Strategic Missile Forces Index – 15E601, in Western Europe and the USA known as the English Dead Hand, literally “Dead Man’s Hand”), which will be applied after all our military and political centers in a matter of minutes will be destroyed by the enemy in accordance with the Pentagon’s concept of restricted nuclear war.
It is clear that if such an inconceivable thing happens, then all of us (even those who survive) will be deeply “purple” and unimaginable thunder from heaven, and radioactive pollution anywhere and anywhere. But the “Petrel” really once again makes you think: is it worth putting your finger on the “red” button?
Perhaps all this reasoning is an occasion for serious discussion. But here one thing indisputable: the Americans here are far behind us, although Trump boasted that they had a long time and something more perfect. If “Agent Donald” had in mind his Pluto project, which was dusty on the shelves, today it is the Stone Age for the Russian nuclear power industry. If only because pushing the reactor into the three-meter diameter rocket SLAM is much easier than the four more modest size of the Petrel. And composite materials, capable of withstanding the colossal temperature of the jet stream for a long time, simply did not exist in the 1950s.
The Pentagon promises to regain its air supremacy with a missile capable of guaranteed destruction of Russian fighters.
In conclusion, is it worth the US rejoicing that at least fourteen tests of the latest Russian missile have so far ended in only partial success? Such stories are commonplace in the process of creating the latest missile weapons in any country. You didn’t forget in what torment, for example, our intercontinental solid propellant ballistic missile R-30 Bulava was born for deployment on the strategic submarine cruisers of the project 955 Borey? From September 23, 2004 to August 24, 2019, 32 control launches were made. Only 22 of them were recognized as successful, and two were partially successful.
But by today, the nuclear submarines Dmitry Dolgoruky, Vladimir Monomakh and Alexander Nevsky with their Maces crushed more than one peg at the Kura training ground in Kamchatka. It works, although this rocket was born in agony.
Do not doubt: “Petrel” will also be taught to fly and get where it is necessary. Indeed, the Yekaterinburg experimental design bureau Novator is working on it. The very thing that not so long ago on an initiative basis developed the Caliber, a family of Russian high-precision long-range cruise missiles that became world famous. Yes, “Caliber” fly on conventional engines. But the reactors for the Petrel have long been ready and have confirmed their operability. “Novator” is left to combine one with the other. And the “Dead Hand” of Russia will become unusually long and inevitable. So that in fact one day not to be dead.