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Russia’s building a terrifying new hypersonic war plane that can fire nukes from space

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David Cornish
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We don't want to worry you, but this is a sentence that actually features in an official statement issued by Colonel Alexei Solodovnikov, professor of Russian Strategic Missile Forces:

"The idea is that the bomber will take off from a normal home airfield to patrol Russian airspace. Upon command it will ascend into outer space, strike a target with nuclear warheads and then return to its home base."

The bomber in question is the next generation of hypersonic stealth aircraft, armed with nuclear warheads and powered by fancy Turbofan engines that let the craft/ship soar through the edges of space. It would be able to hit any target in the world within two hours - pretty much until no world is left - with no other aircraft able to intercept it once it gets into orbit.

This might sound like something from the latest Call of Duty game, but Russia is deadly serious about its new project - emphasis on the 'deadly'. 

Solodovnikov told RIA News that a functional version of the craft's engine will be developed by 2020. According to Colonel-General Sergei Karakayev, commander of Russian Strategic Missile Forces, it's more than just a pipe dream, stating that "The unit’s operational ability had been proven."

The Observer has word that the Russian military plans to exhibit the engine at he upcoming International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2016 in Moscow later this year. 

"Right now we are reviewing the nuances," Karakayev said, "which will take approximately one year. Then we will make a blueprint, which could be completely different [from the current one]. Once we agree on the plans, we will start building the engine itself. In the second year of development - 2018 - we will build the hardware. Perhaps I am rushing things - and some issues may arise - but by 2020 we should have a fully-functioning product."

If only we had a level-headed, calm, commendable Foreign Secretary in place to respond to such openly hostile developments. Oh right...

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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