Russia Tests Nuclear-Powered Burevestnik Cruise Missile

On January 29, Russia conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-powered 9M730 Burevestnik (SSC-X-9 “SKYFALL”) cruise missile in almost a year at the Kapustin Yar missile test range, near the western Kazakhstan border. The Burevestnik is reported to have a nuclear reactor powering its engine, a feature that has yet to be fielded by any country. This is the 13th Burevestnik test with the last reported launch in February 2018. However, U.S. military intelligence sources indicate that the missile is still in developmental stages and that this was only a partially successful test, with only one other past test achieving moderate success. The test precedes the U.S. notice of withdrawal from the INF Treaty on February 2 after Russian violations of the agreement.