Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

>The 9M730 Burevestnik (Russian: Буревестник; "Petrel", NATO reporting name: SSC-X-9 Skyfall) is a Russian experimental nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed cruise missile under development for the Russian Armed Forces. The missile is claimed to have virtually unlimited range. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M730_Burevestnik https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Central_Navy_Testing_Ran...

Yes, but this is some leak from a civic nuclear power station, not some nuclear powered missile. Either from the stone-age Leningrad plant, or maybe from a secret Russian military ship cruising around that time, with a Poseidon (Skyfall) But very unlikely that that ship is nuclear powered. http://www.hisutton.com/Akademik-Aleksandrov.html

Poseidon and Skyfall are two distinct weapons with a shared motivation. Skyfall is a nuclear ramjet powered cruise missile, while Poseidon is a nuclear powered torpedo (in principle an unmanned miniature nuclear submarine with a suicide mission, although probably without hydrostatic buoyancy control.)

Both are motivated by the perception that ABM technology may render ICBMs ineffective.

Old news. Submarine-powered cruise missiles have been for decades Russia's biggest defense weapons against USA' offensive threats. You cannot just defend them. Like the Granit (which most likely was shot at the Pentagon) Those two nuclear powered missiles are not much different, just they can be theoretically be shot off days ahead. The submarine must not hide for weeks near the US coast.

ICBM's are unneeded since the 80ies. That's why they don't have them.

To be clear, a Poseidon is not a cruise missile; it's a torpedo. It has different characteristics from an Oscar class loaded with Granits. Being a torpedo (which doesn't fly) a Poseidon can only attack things on or next to the water (probably ports / coastal cities.) Because a Poseidon is slow (relative to a missile) it seems an unlikely choice for a first strike attack; it's more likely to be intended as a retaliation weapon that's hard to intercept. Russia may also be planning on creating Poseidon "silos" on the seabed of the Arctic Ocean. Possibly related to this, Russia has a single submarine capable of carrying a Poseidon, the K-329 "Belgorod" which is a stretched Oscar-II. It can also supposedly operate as a mothersub for small submarines like the Losharik; the plan may be to use a submarine like the Losharik to install Poseidons on the bottom of the Arctic Ocean to act as a 'Dead Hand' system. However after the Losharik fire, I wonder what their plans are...

The biggest advantage of a Skyfall missile over a Granit is obvious; range. If a Skyfall missile works as they plan, there'd be no need to sneak an Oscar anywhere close to the target, or even use a submarine at all. Furthermore it could strike inland targets beyond the range of a Granit fired from an Oscar sitting in coastal waters. An Oscar would need to sneak it's way up the Mississippi River if it wanted a chance of hitting a target in Nebraska with Granit missiles, which leads into:

ICBMs. With respect to ICBMs you're mistaken. Russia does have a variety of ICBMs and SLBMs still in service with plans for more. They have enough already to easily overwhelm America's extant ABM systems, which are primarily a defense against smaller nuclear threats (e.g. North Korea.) Poseidon and Skyfall are hedges against the possibility that ballistic missiles are rendered truly obsolete by ABM systems, but that scenario hasn't [yet] become reality.

Exactly the reason we don't have nuclear powered aircraft.

Disasters would be magnified exponentially.

We don't have nuclear powered aircraft because the required shielding was too heavy. Both the US and the USSR tried in the 1950s and 1960s, but the only "successful" program was the Soviet Tu-95LAL which got around the problem by simply omitting most of the shielding, irradiating the crew.

Then the ICBM made the strategic bomber obsolete, and there was no incentive to sink any more money into nuclear-powered aircraft. Concern for safety had little to do with it, especially if you compare it to other occurrences at the time [1]. Now we can build autonomous vehicles that don't care about radiation and can make use of all that power, and that's exactly what Russia is doing.

0: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear-powered_aircraft

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_military_nuclear_accid...


Evolving word definitions is not the exclusive domain of the English language. That's just how human language works.

It's driven primarily by ignorance and it muddies communication, especially over time. We should maintain some degree of pressure against such unnecessary change.

It always amazes me how even smart, educated people can hold such ignorant views on linguistics. Go ahead, try and be a prescriptivist. You will lose 100% of the time.

This isn't black or white. It's about slowing the inevitable, yes, but it increases the usefulness of text over time. Less of a probability of material, including scientific, being forgotten.

What a gloriously overwrought way to spell, "it annoys me."

This isn't about some minor annoyance, I'm pointing out something I truly believe holds society back, though not necessarily to some major degree

How much literature has disappeared from history because certain languages or vernaculars fell out of use?

Hell, why do we even bother teaching classical English if it's just going to change, right? We should just let kids learn from their parents and media - no use being a prescriptivist!

And yes, I do believe that some languages and dialects are vastly more expressive and unambiguous than others, but I don't expect the average person to understand that. Ultimately we're all free to speak as we wish but don't shame me for trying to preserve the necessary consistency that makes language useful.

My intent was humorous, but not to shame; I didn't mean it to come out that way.

> How much literature has disappeared from history because certain languages or vernaculars fell out of use?

The answer is not very much, comparatively. Most of the known losses of old works has been due to destruction, not communal loss of ability to decipher. Here's a summary of objects with unknown scripts:


That ship sailed a thousand years ago.

I think it was orders of magnitude longer ago.

(Just a joke, it was actually exponentially longer ago)

We all know that time is linear... except if you are traveling pretty fast :P

Time is linear except when you watch water waiting it to boil.

We should maintain some degree of pressure against ignorance.

Sometimes that means correct people using a word incorrectly, because that might educate them about something they didn't know.

Sometimes though that means educating people about how languages evolve and that the ship has sailed for some expressions.

Exponentially as the opposite of logarithmic. It's just a figure of speech like 'orders of magnitude'. What's fuzzy about that concept?

Hyperbole isn't exactly a new phenomenon nor is it limited to English.

With the radius of the resulting explosion maybe

I think they mean the severity of a nuclear plane crash is greater than the severity of a regular plane crash.

Incidentally, some models of civil airplanes (some 747s for instance) contain depleted uranium trimming weights, which can be hazardous if burned in a plane wreck. This is far from a plane reactor accident though, and use of these weights has been discontinued for years (I'm unsure if any are still flying.)

> I think they mean the severity of a nuclear plane crash is greater than the severity of a regular plane crash.

Yeah, I know, it's just... There are already existing words for that. Words that were in use before "exponentially" became the cool word of the week. I guess I should just accept it, that "exponentially" is going to mean the same thing as "truly", "very" and "really". At some point some newscaster is going to describe a patient's outlook as "it's not looking exponentially good". Although maybe the word has too many syllables. One can hope.

It doesn't just mean "very." It is defined as "increasing rapidly by a large amount" in several dictionaries. Sometimes we have different words for varying degrees of things, and most people seem to accept thats perfectly cromulent.

"Increasing rapidly by a large amount" is reasonable usage.

does the sentence "Disasters would be magnified increasing rapidly by a large amount" make sense though? With a little word shuffling you can get something that at least comes out as coherent, but can you make it convey an idea more complex or more clearly than "disasters would be a lot worse"?

Nuanced word selection can add clarity that would be difficult to achieve with more basic vocabulary, but too often people use wordgasms to confuddle the person they are trying to communicate with and make an otherwise vacuous statement appear more legitimate.

This is low-key pedantic

Thank the American media for their unrelenting sensationalism, that drives them on their neverending quest to find bigger and better words to describe meaningless events. Once a word is too "lit", it's discarded and the next one comes along.

1950's version: http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2015/ph241/rossi1/

At one point I'd found someone's doctoral thesis on the subject, but now it's not quickly popping up in searches on Project Pluto or SLAM.

>The Soviet Union and later Russia have been uncertain since the 1980s to what extent their ICBM nuclear arsenal is nullified by the United States' anti-ballistic missile system Strategic Defense Initiative,[7] proposed during the Reagan Administration and commonly known as the Star Wars program.[8] This type of weapon flies under the ballistic weapon shield and is part of President Putin's broader program to attempt to re-balance Russian nuclear strike capability.

>Military expert Anton Lavrov in the Izvestia article suggested that the design of the Burevestnik uses a ramjet engine, which, unlike the more traditional propulsion systems for nuclear weapons, will have radioactive exhaust throughout its entire operation.

> Military expert Anton Lavrov in the Izvestia article suggested that the design of the Burevestnik uses a ramjet engine, which, unlike the more traditional propulsion systems for nuclear weapons, will have radioactive exhaust throughout its entire operation.

That statement implies that all ramjets produce radioactive exhaust, which is false.

Interestingly the US was developing nuclear ramjets too, but stopped when ICBMs proved feasible. It's two sides of the same coin; America discontinues nuclear ramjets because they think ICBMs will work; Russia invests in nuclear ramjets because they think ICBMs won't work.


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact