Russia 'to deploy Satan II missile capable of destroying the UK in autumn'
Russia plans to deploy its newly-tested ultra-advanced intercontinental missile – nicknamed Satan II by Western military experts – by autumn.
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 who are trying to threaten Russia’.
Satan II, formally named Sarmat, is no average nuke and the Russian president has previously boasted of its unseen-before abilities.
It is said to be the biggest ballistic missile in history, capable of striking a target 11,200 miles away and was tested earlier this week.
In 2018, Metro.co.uk reported 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 into position later this year.
In an interview with Russian state TV, he said Sarmat would be stationed with a unit in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, about 1,860 miles east of Moscow.
Mr Rogozin added it would be placed at the same sites and in the same silos as the Soviet-era Voyevoda missiles they are replacing.
After years of delays due to funding and technical issue, Wednesday’s test comes amid soaring tensions between Russia and the West over the war in Ukraine.
Putin hailed it as ‘a big, momentous event in the development of the Russian army’s advanced weapon systems’.
He added: ‘The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and can penetrate all modern anti-missile defences.
‘It has no analogues in the world and will not have any 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 out country.’
Some fear Russia could use the Sarmat against Ukraine if the Kremlin fails to achieve its war aims, the Mirror reported.
Leigh Turner, former British ambassador to Ukraine, stressed: ‘If Russia is visibly losing this war, it could be that Putin would authorise their use.’
United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres said that the prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is ‘now back within the realm of possibility’.
But the Pentagon described the test as ‘routine’, adding it was not considered a threat.
Sarmat was first tried in 2016 and a recent report published by the US Congressional Research Service said it is expected to be ready this year.
The system will replace the R-36 missile, which was first developed in the 1960s and has gone through various guises since.
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