RUSSIA will be ready to release its new nuke with “unlimited range” within the next six years.
The new system is designed to have the capability fly around the world for days to find gaps in enemies defence systems.
Burevestnik, dubbed Skyfall in the West, can be launched from land or sea and has been given the code name SSC-X-9 by the Kremlin.
Putin’s plans are set to go ahead despite a string of recent unsuccessful tests with the new missile, CNBC reports.
One test earlier this year was described as “moderately successful” but before that, the weapon was tested four times between November 2017 and February 2018, each ending in a crash.
Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey said: “Russia is committed to a massive investment in new systems like this to defeat U.S. missile defences. We are stumbling toward an arms race.
“Whatever the two leaders (Trump and Putin) say, the U.S. and Russian militaries are spending billions on new nuclear weapons targeted at each other.”
Putin first acknowledged the globe-trotting nuclear weapon’s existence in March 2018.
He said: “The launch and the set of ground tests allow (Russia) to get to creating a radically new type of weaponry – a strategic nuclear weaponry complex with a missile fitted with a nuclear-powered engine.”
Putin further described the missile as having “unlimited range and unlimited ability to manoeuvre.”
If “Skyfall” becomes operational, Russia could launch the missiles, prime them to cross the Pacific, go around South America and then penetrate US airspace from the Gulf of Mexico.
Experts say this would force the US to upgrade its air defence network, which currently assumes an air attack would come from the north, west, or east, but not the south.
The news comes a month after a victim of a mysterious nuclear blast in Russia suffered a radiation dose “one thousand times higher than lethal”.
The man, a military diver, died hours after a blast at a navy range in the White Sea on August 8 that Russian officials have so far denied was the result of nuclear testing.
Five nuclear engineers and two servicemen were also killed, while six others were injured.
Medical reports of most victims were allegedly destroyed by the FSB secret service in a suspected cover-up, but details of the diver’s record have emerged.
The man is unnamed, but leaked records indicate he suffered “acute radiation syndrome” as well as leg wounds from the explosion.
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His skin suffered “contamination with radionuclides”, which had also accumulated in his body.
The man suffered a dose of 30,000 gray, the unit measuring radiation, which was described by one expert as “one thousand times higher than lethal” according to media outlet Newsreader, which revealed the leak.
He died en route to Moscow after being seen by doctors in a hospital in nearby Arkhangelsk.
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