The Russian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) “Satan 2” is considered by the manufacturer to be unrivaled in the world, although experts believe that the threat of its use may exceed the power of this weapon.
Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a stern warning to the West this week, suggesting that he would use his gun if convinced by “nuclear blackmail”. The burden of the military escalation has placed a burden on senior NATO officials who, in Putin’s eyes, increased the potential to use “weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia.”
The focus was again on the ICBM RS-28 Sarmat, codenamed “Satan 2” by NATO. Vladimir Degtyar, CEO of JSC Makeyev’s design bureau, which created Satan 2, told the Russian state news agency Tass that it “has no equal in the world.”
Degtyar told Tass that the missile “would leave its silo under all conditions and perform its task with 100% certainty.”
The new missile replaces the R-36 Voevoda missile, code-named “Satan” by NATO.
Russia completed the Satan 2 missile test on April 20, about three years after Putin introduced his capabilities.
The Pentagon said after the Satan 2 test that Russia had “properly notified” the United States as part of its New START obligations.
“Such tests are routine and came as no surprise,” said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby on April 20. “We did not consider the test a threat to the United States or its allies. The department continues to focus on Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. “
After being awarded production contracts with the Makeev and NPOMash Design Bureau in early 2011, Russia reportedly completed the first prototype of the missile in late 2015. In December 2017, technical difficulties resulted from the first silo ejection test.
The missile is 116 feet long and weighs 220 tons. The Center for Strategic and International Studies reported that its development began at the beginning of the 21st century. Reportedly, it can carry up to 15 light nuclear warheads as part of MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Re-Entry Vehicles).
MIRVs were developed in the early 1960s to help missiles deliver multiple nuclear warheads for a variety of purposes.
“Unlike a traditional missile that carries one warhead, the MIRV can carry multiple warheads,” reported the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “For example, the Russian MIRVed missile under development may be able to carry up to 16 warheads, each in a separate return vehicle.”
Reportedly, the warheads are also capable of firing a projectile at different velocities and directions, as some can hit targets up to 932 miles (1,500 kilometers) away.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies reported that Satan 2 has an estimated range of between 6,200 and 11,180 miles (10,000 to 18,000 kilometers).
By comparison, the US LGM-30 Minuteman missile weighs approximately 79,400 pounds and is 5.5 feet in diameter, about 4 feet smaller than the Satan 2. The Minuteman can travel approximately 8,100 miles (13,000 kilometers).
A U.S. Air Force spokesman said: Newsweek that the current ICBM force consists of 400 Minuteman III missiles in the 90th Missile Wing at FE Warren AFB, Wyoming; 341. Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana; and the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
The active force inventory is 400, with no missiles available for the reserves or the National Air Guard.
John Erath, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said: Washington Post after the Russian test run that Putin’s threats are more disturbing than the gun itself.
“We should be very concerned about this practice of threats as an instrument of Russian policy.” [that] it’s gaining in popularity, ”Erath said.
Experts argue Defense newshowever, that “ICBMs are an essential part of US nuclear deterrence” and that the US needs to modernize to keep up with Russia and China, the latter of which have the Dongfeng ICBM.
“These features of the modernized ICBM branch of the nuclear triad help primarily to deter adversaries from launching a nuclear att*ck, preventing nuclear war and making Americans safer,” experts said on the ICBM’s ability to respond and provide “security” in anti-submarine warfare.
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