Putin announces second test of giant ballistic missile

RUSSIA - JULY 19, 2018: The RS-28 Sarmat liquid-fueled super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile developed by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau to replace the old R-36M2 missile system. (Video screen grab/Press and Information Office of the Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation/TASS)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Russian President Vladimir Putin is escalating the war in Ukraine, and Russia has warned it will test a new weapon, the intercontinental hypersonic RS-28 Sarmat missile, which is nicknamed “Satan-2.”

Russia has claimed the giant missile is capable of speeds of up to 25,000 kilometers per hour, making it “unstoppable,” according to Putin.

On Tuesday, Moscow announced that Russia’s military will conduct a second test of the RS-28 Sarmat missile before the end of December 2022, according to the Mirror.

In May, Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of manufacturer Roscosmos, said that about 50 of the Satan-2 type hypersonic intercontinental missiles are “in mass production” and will soon be in the Russian military’s ready-for-combat outfit.

“Sarmat (ICBM) flight-design tests may continue before the end of this year, with a second test launch likely to be carried out,” a Russian defense ministry official told state news agency TASS.

The RS-28 Sarmat missile stands 14 stories high. It is designed to evade missile defense systems, giving surveillance systems a very short window to track it. Russia’s hypersonic Satan-2 missile weighs 220 tons, is 35.3 meters high, has an estimated range of between 10,000 and 18,000 kilometers, and is capable of carrying multiple warheads.

Its first test was trumpeted as soon as it took place on April 20, 2022, with Putin present at the launch at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia. Rogozoin’s successor at Roscosmos, former Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, repeated in July the claim that the rocket is in mass production, without reiterating Putin’s goal of having Satan-2 in combat service by December.

International military analysts have pointed out that Russia’s previous R-36M2 Voevoda missile was tested no fewer than 17 times before being put into combat service.

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