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Aug 12 - Everything We Know About Russia's Skyfall Missile and That Mysterious Explosion


 
 
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 1 week ago '06        #1
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Aug 12 - Everything We Know About Russia's Skyfall Missile and That Mysterious Explosion
 

 
A mysterious explosion in far-northern Russia that k*lled seven people on Thursday is being linked by western nuclear experts to a failed test of a prototype nuclear-powered cruise missile.

Now, the weapon system once hailed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as “invincible” is suspected of causing one of the worst nuclear accidents in the former Soviet Union since the much bigger Chernobyl disaster of the 1980s.

“All the evidence points towards an explosion of a nuclear-powered cruise missile,” David Cullen, director of the UK’s Nuclear Information Service, told VICE News.

Russian officials have admitted five “national hero” scientists were k*lled testing a nuclear-powered engine, and reports of heightened radiation levels in the area have sparked a local run on iodine, which is used to treat exposure to radioactivity.

But the slow release of information by tight-lipped bureaucrats is raising concerns that the incident may have been even worse than officials have been willing to admit.

As details trickle in, here’s what we know about the accident, and about the missile system thought to have caused it, dubbed “SSC-X-9 Skyfall” by the U.S. and its NATO allies.

MYSTERY BLAST
Russia’s Department of Defense at first released only a brief statement saying two of its own employees had been k*lled testing a liquid propellant system.

But the country’s nuclear monopoly, Rosatom, admitted over the weekend that five of its staffers were also k*lled “during tests on a liquid propulsion system involving isotopes at a military facility.” At least three more people were hospitalized with injuries.

The blast occurred on an offshore platform in the region of Arkhangelsk near the Arctic circle, Rosatom said.


[IMG]https://video-images.vice.com/_uncategorized/1565640519162-russia-funeral.jpeg?resize=1575:*[/IMG]
In this grab taken from a footage provided by the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM press service, a Russian military band prepare to attend the funerals of five Russian nuclear engineers k*lled by a rocket explosion in Sarov, the closed city, located 370 kilometers (230 miles) east of Moscow, which has served as a base for Russia's nuclear weapons program since the late 1940s, Russia, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM via AP)




Vyacheslav Solovyov, scientific director of the Russian Federal Nuclear Center, called the deaths “a bitter loss for our entire institute” in a video interview with a local newspaper, and said the researchers had been studying “small-scale sources of energy with the use of fissile materials.”

Alexei Likhachev, CEO of Rosatom, speaking at their funeral on Monday in the town of Sarov, said the men “died tragically while testing a new special device.”

The local city of Severodvinsk (pop. 185,000) announced a “short-term” spike in radiation levels immediately after the incident on Thursday. But the post on its municipal web-site was gone by the next day.

Greenpeace said data collected by Russia’s Emergencies Ministry showed a spike 20 times higher than normal levels in Severodvinsk, and demanded Russian authorities release more information about whether local residents face any threat to their health.

The neighboring country of Norway said it boosted its own radiation monitoring, but had so far not detected any increase in radiation on its own territory.

SKYFALL: AN UNLIMITED-RANGE MISSILE
The most likely explanation appears to be that one of Russia’s new nuclear-fueled cruise missiles exploded on the launchpad, western nuclear experts said.

Putin himself unveiled the program in spring 2018, in the midst of his own campaign for reelection, to thunderous applause from a room full of Russia’s elite.

Designed to have “unlimited” range, the cruise missile propelled by an onboard miniature nuclear reactor could theoretically fly for days in circuitous patterns while hugging close to the earth’s surface, making it incredibly difficult to shoot down with existing missile defense systems.

VIDEO: A Russian military depot with 40,000 artillery shells just violently exploded

Countries in the NATO alliance have dubbed it the “SSC-X-9 Skyfall.” Russia calls it the “Burevestnik,” or “Storm Petrel,” after the bird rumored by sailors to portend a coming storm.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense held an online “name-that-weapon” contest for the new missile last year, in which “Burevestnik” narrowly beat out another crowd favorite: “The Surprise.”

Nuclear propulsion would give the projectile a massive advantage in range when compared against a conventional liquid-fueled cruise missile, which can typically travel closer to 1,000 miles.

Putin himself showed a video clip of the missile zig-zagging around mountains and missile-defense systems, and veering around the southern tip of South America.


But arms experts remain skeptical that Russia can actually make such a complex system work.

U.S. SKEPTICISM
A U.S. intelligence report said last year that early tests revealed the supposedly “unlimited” range had capped out at a far less impressive distance of just 22 miles so far, and that four-out-of-four tests had crashed.

The American military once attempted its own version of a nuclear-powered cruise missile, but dropped the idea as too dangerous. That was partly due to a key design flaw: The engine spat out radioactive exhaust.

That meant such a missile could leave a dangerous radioactive plume behind, wherever it went on a long-winding flightpath.

“I suspect the Russians are walking into a bit of a developmental dead end,” said Ankit Panda, an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists. “The United States tried to get nuclear propulsion for cruise missiles working and we quickly discovered the immense pitfalls.”





Thursday’s incident is just the latest in a series of high-profile Russian military accidents.

Days earlier, a Russian military depot packed with 40,000 shells spectacularly exploded in the Siberian town of Achinsk, prompting the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.

In July, a fire broke out on a top-secret Russian submarine believed to be involved in underwater espionage activities called the “Losharik,” k*lling 14 sailors.


visit this link https://news.vice.com/en_ .. ious-explosion
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12 comments
 

 1 week ago '15        #2
AdRock 3 heat pts
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Karma coming for Russia now. They had a good run, now it’s time to watch them crumble again... they’re too broke to play with the big boys for long... this the type of sh*t that happens when you’re out of your league
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 1 week ago '14        #3
FukHowYouFeel 1 heat pts
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 1 week ago '19        #4
Gold Face 3 heat pts
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Let’s go drink some vodka comrade

 1 week ago '18        #5
Eyesofchaos 13 heat pts13
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 1 week ago '05        #6
phantomnation 3448 heat pts3448
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News said the missile would be the first nuke missile, but cant sustain a flight path of more than 2 minutes. They k*lled 7 of their own scientist trying to clean up the radiation mess they made from detonation. Is it an arms race? or Russia being attention wh*res?
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 1 week ago '08        #7
supervillain 275 heat pts275
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 phantomnation said
News said the missile would be the first nuke missile, but cant sustain a flight path of more than 2 minutes. They k*lled 7 of their own scientist trying to clean up the radiation mess they made from detonation. Is it an arms race? or Russia being attention wh*res?
Another arms race for sure...Russia doesn’t need to clout chase!
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 1 week ago '15        #8
DamianDragunov 
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If I lived in that city I’d be evacuating immediately. I’m not trusting the government to tell me it’s safe.
Also how does that iodine treatment work? Do you just spread it all over yourself or drink it or something?
Just curious.

 1 week ago '17        #9
yousabitch 1 heat pts
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 AdRock said
Karma coming for Russia now. They had a good run, now it’s time to watch them crumble again... they’re too broke to play with the big boys for long... this the type of sh*t that happens when you’re out of your league
money has no value....if they have the right team in place they will be forced to work and build weapons for them ...they are comm
ies..you know! what trump is trying to do here

 1 week ago '15        #10
AdRock 3 heat pts
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 yousabi*ch said
money has no value....if they have the right team in place they will be forced to work and build weapons for them ...they are comm
ies..you know! what trump is trying to do here
They skimp on the technology though. Don’t matter who building it if you’re using bullsh*t parts & materials

 1 week ago '17        #11
yousabitch 1 heat pts
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 AdRock said
They skimp on the technology though. Don’t matter who building it if you’re using bullsh*t parts & materials
I’m pretty sure they have money for that. It’s not
Like they use it to help the citizens dude. Don’t believe the hype ,, the people are poor the governments are not

 1 week ago '08        #12
tdnupe3 19 heat pts19
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 1 week ago '17        #13
Jdog168 28 heat pts28
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 DamianDragunov said
If I lived in that city I’d be evacuating immediately. I’m not trusting the government to tell me it’s safe.
Also how does that iodine treatment work? Do you just spread it all over yourself or drink it or something?
Just curious.


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