While North Korea has become the primary focus of all things relating to nuclear warfare, Russia has been preparing to test-launch its newest and biggest ever nuclear missile. The so-called “Satan 2” is a 100-ton intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that has been under construction since 2009 and is ready to be tested by the end of the year at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast. If the initial trials prove successful, then the massive warhead could be in use by as early as 2019.
Also known as the RS-28 Sarmat, the Satan 2 will be replacing the R-36 Voevoda, which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) called “Satan” in the 1970s. The Satan 2 is said to have a top speed of seven kilometers (km) or 4.3 miles per second, a range of 10,000 km or 6,213 miles, and is twice as light as the original Satan. The missile is said to have been designed to evade anti-missile shield systems and radar defenses.
Moreover, it can deliver over a dozen nuclear warheads of 40 megatons — which is 2,000 times as powerful as Little Boy and Fat Man, the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. The payload carried by the Satan 2 can wipe out France, the United Kingdom, or Texas, according to Russian television channel Zvezda.
The first tests for the Satan 2 were planned as far back as last year, but delays pushed it back to March then April. Speaking to the Kommersant, a source claimed that “The main aim is to check the rocket’s systems at the moment of leaving the silo, the switching on of the Sarmat’s first stage, and the following five seconds [of flight].”
As reported by DailyMail.co.uk, the Satan 2 was developed as a part of Russia’s efforts to bolster its military strength. The missile will supposedly be used by Strategic Missile Troops in the regions of Orenburg and Krasnoyarsk, though there is the possibility that it could serve as a carrier for the hypersonic nuclear warhead Object 4202. Sergei Shoygu, Russian Minister of Defense, is said to be monitoring developments on the Satan 2.
Currently, there is no word on where the Satan 2 is being kept,though it could easily reach the U.K. if launched from Russia’s east coast, claimed TheSun.co.uk.
The announcement of the Satan 2’s creation has invoked a wide range of reactions. Some, like former United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy Paul Craig Roberts, have warned of its terrifying potential.
Roberts said: “The atomic bombs that Washington dropped on these helpless civilian centers while the Japanese government was trying to surrender, were mere popguns compared to today’s thermonuclear weapons. One Russian SS-18 wipes out three-fourths of New York state for thousands of years.”
“Five or six of these ‘Satans’ as they are known by the U.S. military, and the East Coast of the United States disappears.” (Related: Thermonuclear missile launch near Los Angeles is final sign of World War III on the precipice… US, China and Russia all escalating covert attacks in run up to global war)
Still, others like author Arkady Ostrovsky, have gone on to claim that the displays of military strength are born from Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s desperation and weakness.
“(Russia) is once again using the threat of nuclear arms to blackmail the West,” stated Ostrovsky. “Mr. Putin sees Russia’s wars as a form of self-defense, driven by the need to deter the West. Russia’s military-industrial complex is unable to produce anything close to Soviet volumes of hardware. But the country’s relative economic and military weakness compared with NATO does not make the country any safer; on the contrary, it poses a big risk. The only way Russia can compensate for the gaps in its conventional forces is to invoke the threat of a nuclear strike.”
Although it remains to be seen what the Satan 2 will be used for once it has been proven to be operation, we believe that it’s still best to stay on your toes when it comes to Russia.
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