On August 12, the newspaper The New York Times, citing US intelligence reported that the employees of the Sarov nuclear center was lost in the Arkhangelsk region during testing of a cruise missile with a nuclear power plant “Burevestnik”. The Russian government has not yet commented on this information.
“Us intelligence officials are wondering whether the great vanished dream about Putin restored the Arsenal in this mysterious explosion, or was it just a failed attempt of Moscow to create a new class of long-range weapons and underwater action, the United States can not intercept”, – notes the newspaper, Recalling that this occurred in the backdrop of US withdrawal from the Treaty the INF Treaty.
According to the newspaper, a new class of hypersonic and underwater nuclear weapons is not prohibited by any existing Treaty that gives Russia the opportunity to test and apply it. The United States also experimented with the creation of cruise missiles with a nuclear engine with unlimited range, but refused it, recognizing limitations and risks. Expert on atomic energy of the Federation of American scientists Ankit Panda called the creation of such missiles “madness”.
Vladimir Putin first mentioned “Thunderbird” in the message to the Federal Assembly in March 2018. He described it as low flying stealth cruise missile that carries a nuclear warhead, has an unlimited range and an unpredictable flight path. According to Putin, it is invulnerable to all existing and future systems, missile defense, and air defense.
According to the information portal CNBC, the missile has been repeatedly tested at the Central range on Novaya Zemlya and Kapustin Yar. It is known that from November 2017 to February 2018 was conducted four tests and they all failed. The Russian military allegedly tried to find one of those rockets that had fallen in the Barents sea.
The President of the United States Donald trump Twitter in the repeated version of The New York Times. According to him, the explosion “caused many people to worry about the air pollution around the landfill and beyond it”. The US has learned from the incident, and the US has a “similar but more advanced technology.”
At the site near Severodvinsk, on 8 August, an explosion occurred, which, according to the defense Ministry, happened during the test of liquid rocket propulsion. In Severodvinsk, located about 40 km from the scene, it was recorded the excess of background radiation. According to “Rosatom”, the explosion killed five officers, three were injured and burns of varying severity.
Director of the Russian Federal nuclear center in Sarov Valentin Kostyukov called the dead test elite Russian Federal nuclear center and national heroes who “carried out trials in the most incredibly difficult conditions.” They all posthumously awarded the order of Courage, their families will pay a lump sum in the amount of 120 minimum salaries according to the level of the post.
According to Kostyukova, preparing to work in the White sea was conducted about a year. “Set up the stands and certified people. We made a thorough briefing, made the hardware, software, techniques, and discussed them. It would seem that everything should be implemented,” he said, adding that “the situation took a non-standard variant”. The causes of PE are investigating the state Commission.