Russia’s unlimited-range missile that Vladimir Putin unveiled earlier this year before his election has reportedly crashed after takeoff in numerous tests.
The new nuclear-powered cruise missile, which Putin boasted could hit almost any point in the world and evade a U.S.-built missile shield, will be called ‘Burevestnik,’ the defense ministry said after a public vote in March. Putin announced the weapon in his saber-rattling state of the nation speech on March 1, weeks before he was elected to his fourth term as president.
The Burevestnik crashed each of the four times it was tested between November and February, the CNBC business outlet reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources in U.S. intelligence.
The weapon’s shortest and longest test flights lasted from four seconds to just over two minutes, when the missile flew 22 miles before crashing, according to the report.
The Burevestnik is believed to use a gasoline-powered engine at take-off before switching to a nuclear-powered engine for the rest of its flight, CNBC cited sources as saying.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.