Russia plans to deploy its newly tested ultra-advanced intercontinental missile – nicknamed Satan II by Western military experts – this fall.
Two months after Vladimir Putin put his country’s nuclear forces on ‘special alert’, he said this week’s successful launch would ‘give thought to those trying to threaten Russia’.
Satan II, formally named Sarmat, is no average nuclear weapon, and the Russian president has previously boasted of his unprecedented-before-abilities.
It is said to be the largest ballistic missile in history capable of hitting a target 11,200 miles away and was tested earlier this week.
In 2018, Metro.co.uk reported that the bomb is 3,000 times more powerful than the one that wiped out Hiroshima, and could destroy an area twice the size of Britain.
Fast forward to 2022, Russia’s space chief Dmitry Rogozin confirmed plans to put the fearsome weapon in place later this year.
In an interview with Russian state television, he said Sarmat would be stationed with a unit in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, about 1,860 miles east of Moscow.
Rogozin added that it would be located in the same places and in the same silos as the Soviet Voyevoda missiles they replace.
After years of delays due to funding and technical problems, Wednesday’s test comes amid soaring tensions between Russia and the West over the war in Ukraine.
Putin hailed it as ‘a major, significant event in the development of the Russian army’s advanced weapons systems’.
He added: ‘The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and can penetrate all modern anti-missile defenses.
‘It has no analogues in the world and will not have any for a long time to come.
“This completely unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably secure Russia’s security against external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of insane, aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten the country.”
Some fear that Russia could use Sarmat against Ukraine if the Kremlin does not reach its war goals, the Mirror reported.
Leigh Turner, former British ambassador to Ukraine, stressed: “If Russia visibly loses this war, it could be that Putin would authorize their use.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the prospect of a nuclear conflict that was once unthinkable is “now back in the realm of opportunity”.
But the Pentagon described the test as ‘routine’, adding that it was not considered a threat.
Sarmat was first tested in 2016, and a recent report published by the US Congressional Research Service said it is expected to be ready this year.
The system is to replace the R-36 missile, which was first developed in the 1960s and has since undergone various shadows.
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