Russia has on Friday announced its Sarmat ICBMs are on “combat duty”. RIA has quoted the head of the country’s space agency Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov, to confirm: “the Sarmat strategic complex has been put on combat duty.”
The nuclear-capable Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile system was previously touted by President Putin as being capable hitting “any target on Earth” – and is widely believed to be by far the longest-range missile in Russia’s arsenal (or in the world for that matter). It’s been nicknamed by NATO the “Satan II”.
The Sarmat, which is in a “superheavy” class of missiles, has a short initial boost phase which gives it better ability to elude all conventional anti-missile defense systems, given this results in a much smaller window of time to track it.
By design, its super long-range gives it the ability to reach targets thousands of missiles away in the United States or Europe.
This allows it to carry around 15 warheads, up to 750kt. (The bomb US dropped on Hiroshima was 15kt.)
This would be enough to wipe out a country the size of France. It can also carry hypersonic missiles, rendering most missile defense systems ineffective.
It has reportedly been in development since 2009, and has been in testing phase for several years, some test flights of which may have failed. The Sarmat has been touted as being able to reach speeds of nearly 16,000 mph.
Last year, after a successful test, Putin described: “The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense. It has no analogues in the world and won’t have for a long time to come.”
“This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security from external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country,” Putin added at the time.
Without doubt, the timing of Friday’s announcement is also meant to spook Western leaders, as nuclear rhetoric related to the Ukraine war continues to rise, particularly in the context of Moscow having recently positioned tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory.
This post was originally published at Zero Hedge