Russia has said that the country has deployed on combat duty its latest nuclear weapons system, the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile which President Vladimir Putin once said will make the nation’s enemies “think twice”.
Head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency Yuri Borisov on Friday (September 1) said that Sarmat missiles have been placed on combat duty.
Sarmat is one of the several advanced weapons whose development was announced by President Putin in 2018. Sarmat was due to begin its combat operations at the end of 2022.
The silo-based missile, capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, is intended to replace the R-36 ICBMs that are known by the NATO reporting name of Satan. Reportedly, the Sarmat has a short initial launch phase which allows little time for surveillance systems to track it.
In 2022, about two months after sending troops into Ukraine, Putin said the Sarmat would “reliably ensure the security of Russia from external threats and make those who, in the heat of aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country, think twice.”
Putin stated that the Sarmat would be able to carry several nuclear bombs as far as the United States’ continental territory, and that it would "give thought to those who are trying to threaten Russia,” news agency ANI reported citing CNN.
According to the Missile Defence Project at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, the Sarmat could carry 10 and potentially more independently targeted nuclear bombs with a range of up to 18,000 kilometres (or approximately 11,185 miles), the report said.
(With inputs from agencies)