A Russian missile design company has unveiled the first image of a new weapon in Russia’s arsenal: the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, nicknamed “Satan 2.”
The missile will have a range exceeding 11,000 kilometers (6,835 miles), TASS said. The warhead will weigh 100 tons and is designed as a successor to the R-36M Voyevoda.
The devastating 40 megaton weapon is most advanced of its kind and said to be capable of destroying the entire UK in a single blast.
The weapons – which will be ready for launch in 2018 – will make the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki look like “popguns”, experts have said.
Vladimir Putin, president of Russia is seeking to replace his arsenal of SS-18 Satan weapons with the new RS-28 Sarmat super-nukes.
Neither missile can be stopped by the US’s existing missile defenses. Only, with the introduction of the Satan 2, the electronics, targeting, and reliability will noticeably improve over the former missile.
The RS-28 Sarmat (NATO reporting name: SATAN 2), is a Russian liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped, super-heavy thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile in development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau from 2009, intended to replace the previous R-36 missile. Its large payload would allow for up to 10 heavy warheads or 15 lighter ones or up to 24 hypersonic glide vehicles Yu-71, or a combination of warheads and massive amounts of countermeasures designed to defeat anti-missile systems; it was heralded by the Russian military as a response to the U.S. Prompt Global Strike.
In February 2014, a Russian military official announced the Sarmat was expected to be ready for deployment around 2020. In May that year another official source suggested that the program was being accelerated and that it would, in his opinion, constitute up to 100 percent of Russia’s fixed land-based nuclear arsenal by 2021. At the end of June 2015, it was reported that the production schedule for the first prototype of the Sarmat was slipping. The RS-28 Sarmat is expected to become operational in 2016.
On 10 August 2016, Russia successfully tested the RS-28’s first-stage engine named PDU-99 “ПДУ-99”. The first image of this new missile was declassified and unveiled in October 2016.