Russia may be testing nuclear-powered missile
October 3, 2023 - Satellite imagery suggests Russia may be preparing to test an experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile with a theoretical range of thousands of kilometres.
Movements of aircraft and vehicles at and near a base in Russia’s remote Arctic region are consistent with preparations that were made for tests of the missile, known as the Burevestnik or SSC-X-9 Skyfall, in 2017 and 2018, according to a New York Times analysis.
U.S. surveillance planes have also been tracked in the area over the last two weeks, and aviation alerts have warned pilots to avoid nearby airspace.
Russia previously conducted 13 known tests between 2017 and 2019, all of which were unsuccessful, according to a report from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit group focused on arms control. And mishaps can be deadly. A missile launched in 2019 crashed and eventually exploded during a recovery attempt, killing seven people, according to U.S. officials.