Oh well, Bros. We’ve had a good run, you know. And if America was ever brought to its knees, I’d much rather have it be a space nuke from Russia that did it in one fell swoop instead of a series of lone wolf terror attacks that slowly eroded the freedoms of this great nation.
Like, give me kaboom from the outer space any day of the week.
Tthat could be coming, from Russia’s weaponized PAK-DA bomber. It will be able to patrol outer space, loaded with nukes, never more than two hours from a target.
It’s expected to be a hybrid jet-space plane, one that can take off from a normal runway, but then accelerate to five times the speed of sound and hop up into space.
It will fly at a height of 62 miles, or about six times as high as our now super lame B-2 can go.
The secret is a hybrid engine, one that switches between kerosene fuel when it’s on the planet, and methane and oxygen in space (check out this dope graphic here).
From The Daily Mail:
Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, the commander of Russian Strategic Missile Forces, confirmed the model engine for the bomber was built and had been successfully tested.
He said: ‘An engine for a promising space plane has been developed at Strategic Rocket Forces Academy. The unit’s operational ability has been proven.
‘Upon command it will ascend into outer space, strike a target with nuclear warheads and then return to its home base.’ Mr Solodovnikov added: ‘It will [be able to accelerate to] hypersonic speed in rocket mode.’
But you could also, like, not command it to do that, right?
The hybrid engine is a difficult tech to master. The Daily Beast says even the U.S. hasn’t figured it out.
Combined-cycle engines are hard. The U.S. military’s been working on them for decades, without much to show for it. But one Russian official claimed the Kremlin has already mastered the tech.
They could be bullshitting. But if they did have it, and they did arm this plane, it would be a major violation of international law. Not that anyone pays attention to that shit.
In 1967, the United States and Russia and 102 other countries signed the Outer Space Treaty, which bans the explicit militarization of space. “States parties to the treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner,” the treaty reads.
But the Kremlin’s space-bomber would be a weapon—unambiguously so—and would shatter a half-century of mostly-peaceful space exploration, undoubtedly sparking a terrible diplomatic row and potentially driving the United States and Russia closer to open conflict… on Earth’s surface.
Shit. Well, let’s hope they don’t do that. But if all goes well, Russia says the space bomber could be ready for testing by 2020.