Russian giant drone “Petrel”, also called “Skyfall” in NATO, is considered a new threat to the West. However, now it came to a devastating explosion.
They belong to the most modern weapons of Russia. President Vladimir Putin introduced them in March last year as a technology for armored vehicles that no other country in the world should possess: cruise missiles carrying not only a nuclear warhead, but also using nuclear power plants to every point on the Earth. Go undetected in low flight and attack targets there.
But now, during the test, the superdron apparently had a devastating explosion. In this context, experts are talking about the 9M730 Petrel rocket, also called SSC-X-9 Skyfall in NATO, and their development now seems to have suffered a serious blow. Only very slowly the details of the incident leaked last Thursday. At first they talked about two dead. Meanwhile, local media report at least seven casualties and multiple casualties.
The head of the Russian nuclear agency on August 12 confirmed that five scientists who were killed last week were developing a “new weapon” and continue to experience an explosion.
In addition, radioactivity was released at a test site in northern Russia on the White Sea. After official information was subsequently withdrawn, in the nearby city of Severodvinsk, natural radioactivity increased 20 times in half an hour. The Russian atomic authority Rosatom confirmed the incident, but did not give any details.
The United States is learning from a failed missile blast in Russia.
Superdrones belong to the arsenal of new Russian weapons, which allows Western military experts or arms managers to talk about a “new threat situation.” In fact, the new Russian nuclear cruise missile causes a lot of talk among experts. As far as is known, the alleged giant drones with a length of ten meters and five to six tons can be brought from large transport canisters, first with a solid propellant rocket engine in the air, where the nuclear engine is then launched.
The Russians, according to industry representatives, could use their ten-year experience working with small nuclear reactors (Topaz II) on satellites to power their cruise missile propulsion. The power of nuclear reactors can now be increased 40 times to more than five megawatts, weigh up to 3.5 tons and have a length of 1.5 meters. The principle of operation is based on the high thermal power of a nuclear reactor to drive a turbojet engine.
Industry experts estimate the range of a super-cruise missile at more than 20,000 kilometers. Thus, a Russian drone with a nuclear engine can reach almost any point on earth. Flying at a low level will make it very difficult or belated to detect. Presumably, more than a dozen test flights have been completed, although it is unclear whether the nuclear engine has already been fully used.