Russia Retires “Satan”: Moscow Replaces Massive Soviet-Era ICBM With Hypersonic Nuke

Just as the US is in the process of modernizing its nuclear arsenal  (at a cost which could be north of $1 trillion), Russia too will begin scrapping its family of outdated Soviet-era R-36M ICBMs, better known by their NATO designation “Satan“, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The replacement missile will be the recently introduced RS-28 Sarmat, which we learned two weeks ago boasts cutting-edge, hypersonic capabilities.

The video below showcases the original “Satan” in its glory days:

And here is the RS-28 Sarmat, aka “Satan II.”

“[The Satan missile] is at the end of its life span, and we are about to start discarding that missile,” the Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said. Borisov did not elaborate on the exact model though.

The R-36M intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was first deployed in 1975, becoming the most powerful silo-based strategic nuclear munition in the world. Two further modifications of the missile were made since then, and its booster stage also received tweaks according to RT.

The latest modification of the liquid-propelled missile is known in Russia as R-36M2 Voevoda, but in the West it’s dubbed with the fearsome name, “Satan.” The aging weapon will be replaced with new-generation Sarmat missiles, which are to become the latest additions to Russian arsenal, Borisov said.

“There is no doubt that by the end of Voevoda’s resource capabilities, we will get new Sarmat missiles,” he said.

The ICBM is capable of overcoming missile defense systems and has already completed tests, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during his state of the nation address on March 1.

The missile has “practically no range restrictions” and is capable of carrying a wide range of nuclear weapons. Sarmat missiles are compatible with existing R-36M silos and can fit into them with just some minor modification.

Just hours after Russia showcased its latest nuclear ICBM, a Darpa director demanded  much more funding to avoid falling behind Russia (and China) in the hypersonic arms race.

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