Starting his story about promising systems for strategic nuclear forces, V. Putin recalled the events of recent years. At the beginning of the last decade, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty, and then began the construction of new military facilities. The deployment of missile defense systems on land and at sea threatened Russian nuclear forces. For this reason, our country was forced to start developing fundamentally new weapons, whose potential does not depend on the enemy’s anti-missile systems. Very interesting results have been obtained so far in this area.
According to V. Putin, the Russian defense industry was not limited to the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles alone and created not only the Sarmat complex. The development of new types of weapons that do not use a ballistic trajectory was launched. Thus, such weapons in principle cannot be intercepted by modern missile defense.
At the heart of one of the strategic armament projects are the most daring developments of Russian scientists. An unnamed research institution was able to develop a super-power small-sized nuclear power plant (NPI). According to the president, such a product can be marked in the body of a cruise missile like the Russian X-101 or American Tomahawk. New power plant gives such weapons uniquely high performance.
V. Putin stated that the new nuclear power plant, having a small size, makes it possible to increase the rocket range by a factor of ten compared with traditional engines. In practice, the range is unlimited. Combined with a number of other unique features, the new power plant gives the rocket unique opportunities.
A promising product, as the president said, should fly at a low altitude and carry a nuclear warhead. In the development of the airframe rocket used so-called. stealth technology, reducing its visibility for the detection of the enemy. The missile must fly an unpredictable route, bypassing the zone of responsibility of air defense. Being an aerodynamic goal, it is not under the responsibility of missile defense. Thus, a promising missile cannot be intercepted by existing and prospective air and missile defense systems.
The head of state said that the promising ammunition had already been tested. At the end of last year, the successful launch of a rocket with nuclear power plants took place at the Central Test Site of the Russian Federation. During the flight, the power plant developed the required power and provided the necessary engine thrust. The test launch was successful and confirmed the prospects for new technologies.
Ground tests and test runs, which ended with the desired results, allow you to continue work. V. Putin pointed out that now the defense industry can start creating a fundamentally new weapon - a strategic complex with a rocket equipped with a nuclear power plant.
It is curious that the new cruise missile, as well as a number of other new developments presented by V. Putin, has not yet been officially named. However, measures have already been taken to eliminate this flaw. The President said that in the near future, everyone can make their proposals in the field of names of promising weapons. Shortly after his speech on the official website of the Ministry of Defense, a corresponding section appeared. In the near future while the nameless weapon will receive new names.
In the past, the Message to the Federal Assembly was only read out by the President. This time the speech of the head of state was accompanied by videos showing promising domestic weapons. Real surveys from polygons and computer graphics clearly showed the work and operating principles of the latest systems. One of these clips was shown after statements about a promising cruise missile.
The video begins with a demonstration of the test run. An inclined tubular launcher was installed at the test site, from which a rocket flew out with the noise of a starting engine. After the missile left, a large cloud of characteristic smoke remained above the launch position. The rocket abruptly gained speed and altitude, hiding in the clouds. Then they showed a rocket in the air. The product flew at a given height, leaving behind a barely noticeable plume of smoke. With the help of computer graphics, it was shown how a rocket can move at low altitude with a bend around the terrain.
Also in the video included a demonstration of the unique characteristics of the flight range, also performed using graphics. The drawn rocket launched from the range on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, passed between Iceland and Greenland, and then headed south. The route of the rocket rounded the air defense positional areas off the east coast of North America and in the central part of the Atlantic Ocean. Through the Drake Strait, a rocket hit the Pacific Ocean and headed north to its target.
Unfortunately, specialists and military enthusiasts, President V. Putin has not yet announced the technical details of a promising project. In addition, leaves much to be desired quality of documentary shots. However, in this case it is possible to consider a new rocket and make some assumptions.
Judging by the published frames, the nameless rocket with nuclear power plants has a cigar-shaped body of great elongation, on the sides of which there are cylindrical additional covers of smaller sizes. The rocket has a swept wing with a small chord length, and in the tail is a plumage with a developed ventral crest. Planes made collapsible and before exiting the launcher do not protrude beyond the basic structures.
For obvious reasons, the nuclear power plant represents the greatest interest in the new project. All that is known about this system is that it is minimal in size and was inscribed in a body the size of an X-101 rocket. Other details were not disclosed, but the main features of the power plant are visible on the published video.
In the aviation or cruise missiles, the atomic energy was proposed to be used in different ways. Based on the results of many research programs, the optimal option was chosen, providing for the construction of a special nuclear jet engine (NRE). The "classic" versions of the NRE, proposed back in the middle of the last century, are similar to jet engines, but differ in the source of energy. Instead of a combustion chamber for liquid fuel, it is proposed to use a nuclear reactor or an associated heat exchanger in them.
During the operation of such an engine, the atmospheric air entering through the intake is in contact with the heated reactor vessel or heat exchanger, receiving energy from it. The heated air flows through the turbine and the nozzle, creating the required thrust. In the distant past, in our country and abroad, designs of airplanes with such a power plant were proposed, but none of them came to practical use. The main problem lay in the need to organize sufficient biological protection for the required power reactor. Such means turned out to be too large and heavy for airplanes, and therefore did not allow to implement bold plans.
In the video shown, you can see that the promising cruise missile YARD is located in the hull and side covers of the fuselage. Apparently, there are air-jet systems, receiving heat energy from a nuclear power plant. The heated air, in turn, is emitted through the tail nozzles of the shrouds.
There is every reason to believe that the rocket has not only a nuclear power plant. A characteristic cloud of smoke at startup indicates the use of a solid-fuel starter engine. Probably, after reaching the required speed, it is reset, and then the rocket flies only at the expense of the YARD. Atomic power plants, showing high power, are distinguished by high fuel economy. Precisely because of this, the cruise missile, allegedly, is tens of times longer than existing systems in flight range. However, the estimated or actual range indicators have not yet been clarified. It is known that the X-101 cruise missile has a range of more than 5 thousand km, and it remains only to guess how much a new product can fly with a nuclear power unit.
A significant increase in flight range in comparison with existing samples gives the prospective rocket obvious advantages. First of all, the requirements for the placement of the firing position of the launcher are reduced. If there is no specific time limit for striking a missile, it can launch from any point on the planet and then head to any area. With no practical limitations on the range, the route can be not only optimal and shortest. Using data on enemy positional air defense areas, the calculation of the missile complex can build a favorable trajectory that precludes timely detection of a flying missile. Thus, a blow to the enemy will be unexpected and powerful.
According to the President of Russia, a promising cruise missile, attributable to the field of strategic weapons, is equipped with a nuclear warhead. Like other products of similar classes, it could receive a conventional charge, but its use is not entirely appropriate. Obviously, after the detonation of the warhead and the destruction of the rocket will be followed by the release of nuclear fuel with known consequences. A special warhead, in turn, removes a rocket from the so-called category. dirty weapons. In addition, equipping a rocket with an unlimited flight range with a non-strategic charge looks like a real waste and not very meaningful consumption of very valuable items.
Historians of weapons and military equipment, as well as the interested public, are well aware that the idea of a nuclear engine for an airplane or a rocket appeared a few decades ago. Moreover, the leading countries tried to create real equipment with such equipment. However, none of the bold projects have progressed beyond the testing phase. For this reason, the newest Russian cruise missile with NPIs in the near future will be able to earn the honorary title of a technical breakthrough.
Speaking about the latest rocket, President V. Putin noted that not a single foreign country currently has such systems. Not without irony, he added that perhaps someday such developments will appear, but by this time Russian scientists and designers will have time to provide our country with another advantage.
Indeed, as far as is known, even the leading foreign countries have long abandoned the idea of a nuclear jet engine and have not worked on such products for several decades. Russia, using existing experience and the latest technology, could not only develop a product of this kind, but also bring it to the test. Moreover, the checks were carried out not only on the stands, but also on board a full-fledged experimental rocket. Already this fact can be considered a great success.
One of the main advantages of a promising missile is the ability to build the most profitable route that provides an effective breakthrough of enemy air defense and missile defense zones. Thus, while the nameless rocket turns out to be the most interesting element of the strategic deterrence system. Due to the limited speed and relatively large flight time, it cannot be a first-strike vehicle, but its use in a retaliatory order will allow you to get the best results. One can only guess how exactly foreign countries will react to the appearance of such weapons with unique characteristics and capabilities in Russia.
At the moment, it is only known that the promising cruise missile with NPI has passed some tests. According to the results of these inspections, as V. Putin stated, the development of a full-fledged strategic missile complex, designed to strengthen Russian nuclear forces, may begin.
When the development work will be completed and the army will receive the latest designs with unique capabilities - is unknown. So far, the country's military and political leadership has decided not to share with the public the main part of information about the most important project. However, new reports on promising developments, as often happens, may appear in the very near future. In the meantime, waiting for the news, you can turn on the fantasy and offer your version of the name for the rocket. The Ministry of Defense is now accepting ideas from everyone.
Not without pride in the national defense science and industry, it should be noted that the promising cruise missile with a nuclear power plant was not the only novelty in the recent speech of the president. Vladimir Putin also spoke about other promising weapons systems, including fundamentally new ones for our country and the world as a whole.