Russia apparently can't afford Putin's problematic nuclear-powered cruise missile

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is seen through the glass of C-Explorer 5 submersible after a dive in the Baltic SeaRussia's President Vladimir Putin is seen through the glass of C-Explorer 5 submersible after a dive in the Baltic SeaREUTERS/Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

  • Russia's unstoppable nuclear-powered cruise missile is apparently too expensive to mass produce, CNBC reported Friday, citing US intelligence.
  • Russia has encountered this situation with other much-hyped weapons, such as the T-14 Armata main battle tank and the fifth-generation Su-57 stealth fighter.
  • More importantly, though, the missile still doesn't work and may not be combat ready for at least another decade.

Russia can't afford its Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, which still doesn't work right and may not be combat ready for another decade, CNBC reports, citing US intelligence assessments.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proudly boasted last year that the weapon could skirt enemy defenses and fly indefinitely, giving it unlimited range, but the farthest this missile has ever flown in testing is 22 miles.

The most recent test took place in late January, The Diplomat reported in early February, noting that Russia had decided to restart testing after a pause last summer.

Read More: Putin's much-hyped nuclear-powered cruise missile still isn't working right as Russia restarts testing

The launch of what President Vladimir Putin said is Russia's new nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missileThe launch of what President Vladimir Putin said is Russia's new nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missileRU-RTR Russian Television/AP

The test was apparently only "partially successful," The Diplomat explained, indicating that the weapon still doesn't function as intended. No country has ever fielded a nuclear-powered cruise missile, although the US briefly flirted with the idea many years ago.

US intelligence currently assesses it might be another decade before the Burevestnik cruise missile is ready for combat, but even then, Russia is expected to only produce a few of these potentially powerful missiles because they are too expensive for the country to develop, CNBC reports.

This certainly isn't the first superweapon Russia has hyped up that turned out to be unobtainable due to budget limitations.

T 14 armataRussian T-14 tanks with the Armata Universal Combat Platform drive during the Victory Day parade, marking the 71st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2016.Reuters

Russia unveiled its hard-hitting T-14 Armata tank at the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade, where one embarrassingly broke down and had to be towed away during rehearsal.

Read More: Russia is installing toilets in the wildly expensive NATO killer T-14 supertanks it can't afford

Russia had initially planned to mass produce and field as many as 2,300 Armatas by 2025, but that number was reduced to 100, as the cost of this state-of-the-art tank, which includes an unmanned turret and other expensive features, was way over budget.

Instead of buying more Armatas, Russia opted to upgrade and improve its older T-72, T-80, and T-90 tanks, capable armor units but definitely nothing like what Russia promised for the Armatas.

Read more: Russia buys WWII-era T-34s for propaganda boost as supposed NATO killer T-14 tank fails to launch

A Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-57 jet flies over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 73 years since the end of WWII and the defeat of Nazi Germany, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.A Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-57 jet flies over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 73 years since the end of WWII and the defeat of Nazi Germany, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 9, 2018.AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

The country decided to do the same with its fifth-generation Su-57 stealth fighter.

Rather than mass produce the aircraft, which was built to take down the US F-35s, Russia instead chose to purchase only a limited number and focus on improving its fourth-generation fighters.

Read More: Russia admits defeat on its 'stealth' F-35 killer by canceling mass production of the Su-57 fighter jet

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