Russia is working on a nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile which has the potential to bring in doomsday. The 9M730 Burevestnik, or Skyfall as NATO dubbed it, will be able to reach any corner of the globe as astonishing speeds. Skyfall has been fitted with a nuclear powered engine which makes it able to travel non-stop with “unlimited range”, according to Putin.
This is because the missile would firstly be launched into the air on top of a conventional rocket booster, and then the nuclear engine takes over.
The engine will be able to suck in and absorb air into a chamber, superheat it with the nuclear reactor with the energy created used to propel Skyfall giving it virtually unlimited energy.
This method also allows the missile to travel at super speeds, some three times the speed of sound.
The speed of sound, or Mach 1, is 343 metres per second. Mach 3 is 3,705 kilometres per hour.
At that speed, the rocket could easily get from Moscow to New York, which is 7,510 kilometres as the crow flies, in an hour. A commercial jet takes nine hours.
The fact it is a cruise missile also means it is virtually unassailable.
Cruise missiles fly close to the ground, able to manoeuvre easily. As they are so low, it is difficult for ground-based radars to detect them until they are just a few kilometres away.
By that time, it would be too late for any nation to react and intercept the threat.
However, the plan was eventually scuppered by the US as scientists could not figure out a way to stop Pluto belching nuclear fallout from its engine wherever it travelled – even over Americans.
Either Russian scientists have cracked this conundrum, or Putin does not have the same level of care for his citizens.
Experts believe the only time Russia can feasibly use this weapon is during all-out war, because it means game-over for the enemy.
Dr Mark Galeotti, from Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, told CNN: “This is a doomsday weapon really.
“It’s not something that could be deployed in anything other than a full-scale nuclear war. It is a cruise missile that can stay in the air for a long time, but it is belching out radioactive plumes behind it.”
Skyfall packs so much radiation that an explosion in a prototype of the weapon caused radiation levels to spike to 1,000 times the lethal dosage in the White Sea on August 8.
The accident killed five nuclear engineers and two servicemen.