unlikely ethical, technical. To defect prone. It is not about doomsday scenario. this is about storage/tests and ability to deliver too. No I dot think anything like that is ever beed applied. In every case Putin said: with nuclear source of energy not engine.
What place does ethics have in a dooms day device?
In a jet engine the energy source is normally jet fuel... a ramjet engine with a nuclear reactor as a source of heat instead of burning fuel is perfectly feasable... especially for a subsonic missile... there is no need for a temperature of more than 1,300 degrees C.... most modern turbojet engines generate about that temperature already, so making it hotter offers nothing except problems.
More probable they have some intermediate medium to pass heat to the engine and moderate reactor.
Extra weight for no real benefit...
The idea that a thermal nuclear engine can't work using air as a thermal transfer media is just bullshit. FFS, its just a method of injecting heat into airflow and creating thrust via volumetric expansion... air-breathing engines do this everyday on a routine basis tongue Helium or xenon? WTF are you smoking?
So, the temperature margin of the Pluto reactor was 150 ceslius.
I gave that example to show a nuclear ramjet is possible, but it does not have to operate at anything like that temperature... the Pluto missile was enormous and carried 24 nuclear warheads... it also flew at low altitude at mach 3... none of which this new missile needs... one or maybe a couple of warheads, and subsonic speeds at low altitude... perhaps transonic speeds at higher altitudes... but nothing like the power of thrust requirements of the Pluto system.
Solid rocket boosters to get it airborne and a ramjet motor to gradually accelerate it and allow it to climb for a day and then it can fly off in a certain direction... including due south to go for its target.
It means that the steel burn like wood or coal.
And that temperature margin calculated for normal air pressure, the engine works with higher pressure, means the auto-ignition temperature is actually closer to the reactor normal operating temperature.
the operating temperature for a nuclear ramjet engine in a very much larger weapon flying considerably faster is going to be much higher than a nuclear ramjet engine in a much smaller and much slower missile... making the problems much less and the task much easier... they have been working on it the better part of two decades... since 2002 when the US withdrew from the ABM treaty...
So, if it ingesting a bird then it will melt down .
This is a ramjet... there are no blades or turbines... just heat transfer... design it with birdstrikes in mind and they could simply be sucked right on through...
like? what does it mean several thousands and if core is not moderated is there any limit of temp?
The core wont be running all the time from production to use... before the missile is launched the core will be moderated... upon launch the core can be heated up for thrust, but if there is a problem it could just as easily be shut down... or not... a blocked intake means the missile will crash so who cares about a meltdown at that stage... if I designed the missile I would set it up to detonate the warhead if it was going to crash as long as it was not in friendly territory...
and if air stops flowing then?
with multiple air intakes the chance of a bird strike blocking all the air flow are pretty much zero... but the obvious solution would be to have it launched vertically with a solid rocket motor and then for the nuclear ramjet to take over and climb to about 10,000m and then fly south and hit the US or Europe from the south pole rather than over the north pole...
2. It is very hard to test during the development phase.
Why is it hard to test?
It is subsonic... you can send fighter jets to fly along side it all the way... replacing them as they run out of fuel... paint the thing bright orange and do it in winter so everything is white and add a bright orange parachute system in the payload section in case there is a problem... in fact you could fly along side in an Il-476 with wireless monitoring of all its systems transmitted in real time the few hundred metres to your chase plane with a manual command to shut down the reactor and deploy the parachute if needed... then send in chem/bio warfare guys to the landing site to deal with any issues if it crashes... fly it away from any populated areas... not a big deal.
Hell, you could design it so that if there is a problem the whole thing is inflated like a huge hot air balloon that is orange and it descends slowly to the ground... the chase plane with all the instruments can monitor core temperature and other aspects including radiation levels and it can fly circles around the crash site until units arrive to deal with the clean up... but a balloon and parachute system would minimise the debris problem and probably localise everything into one crash site... nice and tidy.