Russia Claims Its RS-28 Sarmat ICBM Has "Practically Unlimited Range". Here's What We Know.

Mark Episkopos

Mark Episkopos

Security,

Everything we know about this nuclear missile. 

Russia Claims Its RS-28 Sarmat ICBM Has "Practically Unlimited Range". Here's What We Know.

Of the six strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin at his oft-cited 2018 annual state-of-the-nation address, “RS-28 Sarmat” is among the most consequential.

Dubbed “Satan 2” in NATO reporting, Putin described Sarmat as a “heavy,” uninterceptable ICBM with “practically unlimited range.”

Sarmat has since been hailed as the imminent future of Russian counterforce capability; a 200-ton, mach 10, liquid-fuelled weapon that’s orders of magnitude more powerful than the four-decades-old Soviet RS-36M missile it is replacing.

But updates have been scant over the remainder of 2018, nor has the Kremlin offered a concrete development timeline. So, where is Sarmat? Potentially right around the corner, according to a recent series of Kremlin statements.

At a Kremlin military ceremony held last week, Putin gave a speech on the need to “meld Russian military tradition with the latest, cutting-edge knowledge, technology, and ability to effectively apply them…” Recounting the recent examples in this vein, Putin mentioned that “Kinzhal” hypersonic missiles and the “Peresvet” laser system are already being delivered to the Russian armed forces before briefly turning to Sarmat, which he announced is “successfully undergoing final testing.”

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