NEW DELHI: Russia has unveiled the first image of its beast of a nuclear missile called the RS-28 Sarmat, also known as Satan-2. It is Russia’s new super-heavy thermonuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which can wipe out parts of the earth the size of Texas and France, according to Russia’s Zvezda TV channel. The missile is capable of targeting major cities of the UK and otherEuropean nations. It has an estimated range of 10,000 kilometres. The Sarmat is set to replace the RS-36, a family of ICBMs and space launch vehicles that entered service in the 1970s, according to Sputnik. The replacement will happen by 2020, according to Russia Today. The multi warhead missile is expected to carry up to 10 heavy warheads or 16 lighter ones or a combination of both. It will also have counter-measures to overpower enemy missile defences. The missile has been designed with stealth technology, means that it can be fired at a target without being detected by enemy radars.
It is expected to be an effective response to US missile defence deployments near Russia’s borders. Russia hopes that the new missile will deter US efforts to gain strategic superiority over it or launch a surprise attack.
The Sarmat could deliver warheads 2,000 times as powerful as the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the Daily Mail reported.
The Satan-2 has a top speed of 7 km per second. It is designed to be fitted with Project 4202, a Russian hypersonic glider warhead which can accelerate to speeds between Mach 7 and 12 — seven to 12 times higher than the speed of sound. If the missile is ever used in this platform, anti-missile defence shields will not stand a chance against it.
The Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau had declassified the first image of Satan-2. The missile is undergoing development at the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau in Miass, Russia. “It is Russia’s answer to the threat of missile defence systems designed to undermine the global strategic balance,” reported Russia’s government controlled news agency, Sputnik, adding the missile is expected to go into production by 2018.
Makeyev released the image of the nuclear missile on its website.
Underneath the image is a text: "In accordance with the Decree of the Russian Government 'On the State Defense Order for 2010 and the planning period 2012-2013', the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau was instructed to start design and development work on the Sarmat. In June 2011, the Russian Ministry of Defense signed a state contract for the Sarmat's development. The prospective strategic missile system is being developed in order to create an assured and effective nuclear deterrent for Russia's strategic forces."
The missile is expected to be an adequate response to US’s Prompt Global Strike, a Pentagon initiative meant to overcome an enemy’s strategic deterrent using massed launch of conventional cruise missiles, according to Sputnik.
In August this year, Bloomberg reported that the Pentagon was preparing to approve the production of a new ICBM. Sputnik, in turn, reported that the US ICBM will be a direct competitor to the Sarmat.
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