Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and flaring tensions between Moscow and the West, the manufacturer of Russia’s “Satan 2” intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) claims it has the most cutting-edge maneuvering warheads and will protect Russia from external threats for the next 40 to 50 years.
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The CEO of the JSC Makeyev Design Bureau, Vladimir Degtyar, recently told the Russian news agency that the missile would leave its silo under all circumstances and complete its mission with 100 percent certainty.
Russian President Vladimir Putin previously boasted that the missile had no rivals anywhere in the world.
Similarly, Russian state media Tass noted that “the missile is unique in terms of its unsurpassed speed, record-breaking range, the highest accuracy, and complete invulnerability while penetrating anti-missile defense systems.”
According to the agency, the Satan 2, also known as RS-28 Sarmat ICBy, can deliver multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV weighing) up to 10 tons to any location on the planet.
The Sarmat missile, which is 116 feet (35.3 meters) long and weighs 220 tons, was first unveiled by Putin as the “next generation” of nuclear missile technology at a state-of-the-nation speech in 2018.
In April 2022, Moscow announced that it had successfully tested this intercontinental ballistic missile. The country aims to deploy this powerful weapon by the end of 2022.
Degtyar emphasized that the new missile is not an analog but a new generation ICBM with notable performance capabilities. “That is why it has already been dubbed an ‘engineering miracle’ and the ‘crowning achievement in rocket technology,” he said.
He also referred to the system as Russia’s “impregnable shield” and the main factor of nuclear deterrence and a guarantee of peace.
In June, Degtyar noted that the Sarmat’s silo was a sophisticated engineering feat that ensured the missile’s safety from attacks by both conventional and nuclear weapons with high precision.
The latest report on the weapon capabilities comes only days after Putin delivered a speech in which he declared he was prepared to fight back against what he called the West’s “nuclear blackmail.”
“If Russia feels its territorial integrity is threatened, we will use all defense methods at our disposal, and this is not a bluff,” Putin said.
On September 22, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who also serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, made similar remarks, saying nuclear weapons may be employed to defend regions in Ukraine occupied by Russia.
“The Donbas (Donetsk and Luhansk) republics and other territories will be accepted into Russia,” Medvedev said, according to Reuters.
“Russia has announced that not only mobilization capabilities but also any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles, could be used for such protection,” he added.
Russia’s Nuclear ‘Satan 2’ Missile
The Satan 2 missile will replace the R-36 or Voevoda, an outdated intercontinental ballistic missile from the Soviet era that NATO dubbed “Satan.”
The range of this system is estimated to be between 6,200 and 11,180 miles (10,000 to 18,000 kilometers).
Satan 2 has advanced guidance systems and, most likely, decoys to trick anti-missile defense systems. Experts speculate that this may consist of a few dozen extremely light decoys that resemble the warhead, which might result in a kill vehicle targeting the wrong object.
Previously, Colonel-General Sergei Karakaev, the head of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces, alleged that Sarmat missiles could fly across the North and South Poles and other locations.
“Due to the power-to-weight ratio of the new missile system, the trajectory can change. From our notorious trajectory through the North Pole, if necessary, it is possible to lay a trajectory through the South Pole, which, in principle, is not protected today. And there are also possibilities for other trajectories – in terms of the possibility of launching into outer space,” Karakaev told the Zvezda TV channel.
He argued that detecting this missile system would be challenging using existing defense systems or those that will be developed in the future. Thus, the missile has been considered a major threat to the United States and its allies.
John Erath, Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms control and Non-Proliferation, was quoted by the Washington Post as saying, “Russia has always had a substantial number of ICBMs that could strike the United States and Europe.”
Overall, the missile represents a significant advancement in Russia’s offensive capabilities and a genuine threat to the US and its allies’ current defense systems.