In Brief
  • Russia has unveiled its largest nuclear missile, which is supposed to be powerful enough to destroy an area the size of a state with a single blast.
  • The missile is able to travel distances up to 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles) in order to reach its target, putting much of the world within reach.

Summoning Satan 2

Russia has just revealed an upgrade to their intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) arsenal, and reports assert that it is strong enough to level a massive amount of ground.

Dr Paul Craig Roberts, who is the former assistant secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, said in a blog post that the missile packs so much power that it would be strong enough to “wipe out three-fourths of New York state for thousands of years.” Other reports assert that the size of the package could be large enough to devastate an area the size of Texas.

The RS-28 Sarmat, nicknamed Satan 2 by NATO, will be high on the list of the world’s most deadly weapons. It was developed by the Makeyev Rocket Design bureau, and has been in the works since 2011.

Originally intended for a 2020 release, the Satan 2 is now expected to be operational by 2018. The more than 100-ton missile would be launched from a silo and can travel distances of up to 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles), through the North or South poles, to deliver an enormous 10-ton payload.

Though heavy, it is not slow, reaching maximum speeds of more than Mach 20—some 24,500 km/h (15,220 mph).

The RS-28 Sarmat. Credits: Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau
The RS-28 Sarmat is huge. Credits: Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau

Its payload can reportedly carry 10 heavy warheads at a time or 16 lighter ones. It can also equip huge amounts of missile defense countermeasures to prevent it from being taken out by anti-missile systems. According to Sputnik magazine in Russia, Satan 2 could pack enough nuclear power that could devastate a landmass as big as France in a single blow.

That’s strong. Very strong.

In a statement, the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau told state controlled news agency Sputnik International: “In accordance with the Decree of the Russian Government ‘On the State Defense Order for 2010 and the planning period 2012-2013’, the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau was instructed to start design and development work on the Sarmat. In June 2011, the Russian Ministry of Defense signed a state contract for the Sarmat’s development.”

And they note the purpose of the missile, saying that, “The prospective strategic missile system is being developed in order to create an assured and effective nuclear deterrent for Russia’s strategic forces.”

Technological Brinksmanship

Russia isn’t the only one updating military technology for the future. Just recently, the US unveiled its largest-ever destroyer, the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), which can be used to fire futuristic railguns.

Indeed, there is also no shortage of smart weapons (and bullets) and autonomous military vehicles. There’s DARPA’s ACTUV submarine hunting drone, and technologies developed by Lockheed Martin have led to an unmanned boat (the Marlin MK2), and then there is Ocean Aero’s submarine drone (the Submaran)—just to name a few.

Clearly, modern technology is reshaping the future of warfare.