MOSCOW --- Russia has created a small-size super-powerful nuclear power plant that can be installed on a cruise missile, which will ensure an unlimited flight range and invulnerability to missile and air defense systems, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his annual State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday.
"We’ve started the development of new types of strategic weapons that do not use ballistic flight paths on the way to the target. This means that the missile defense systems are useless as a counter-means and just senseless," Putin said that these cutting-edge weapon systems were based on the latest unique achievements of Russian scientists, designers and engineers.
"One of them is creation of a small-size highly powerful nuclear power plant that can be planted inside the hull of a cruise missile identical to our air-launched X-101 or the United States’ Tomahawk, but at the same time is capable of guaranteeing a flight range that is dozens of times greater, which is practically unlimited," Putin said.
"A low-flying, low-visibility cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead and possessing a practically unlimited range, unpredictable flight path and the capability to impregnate practically all interception lines is invulnerable to all existing and future anti-missile and air defense weapons," Putin said.
At the end of 2017 Russia successfully launched the newest nuclear-powered cruise missile at the central proving ground, he went on.
"During the flight the power plant achieved the design capacity and thrust. The launch of the missile and the tests on the ground allow for starting work to create a fundamentally new type of weapon - a strategic nuclear missile equipped with a nuclear power plant," Putin said.
On a large screen he showed a video modelling the flight of a nuclear power plant-equipped cruise missile circumventing missile defenses. In the video a cruise missile was flying at a low altitude over rugged terrain and water surface.
"This shows the way it will be coping with defense lines," Putin said about the missile’s maneuvers.
"The range is unlimited, so the maneuvering can go on indefinitely," he explained.
"As you may have guessed, no other country in the world has anything like that. Possibly, something similar will appear someday, but our guys will come up with something else by then," Putin said to draw applause.