Russia to deploy Sarmat missiles by fall in ‘historic’ nuclear upgrade
Russia said Saturday it plans to deploy its newly tested Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles, capable of launching nuclear strikes against the United States, by the fall. The goal declared by Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, is ambitious as Russia only announced its first test launch on Wednesday and Western military experts say it will take more before the missile can be deployed.
The Sarmat is capable of carrying at least 10 nuclear warheads and decoys, and hitting targets thousands of miles away in the United States or Europe. This week’s test, after years of delays due to funding and technical issues, marks a show of force by Russia at a time when the war in Ukraine has raised tensions with the United States and its allies at their highest level since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.
Rogozin said in an interview with Russian state television that the missiles would be deployed with a unit in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, about 3,000 km (1,860 miles) east of Moscow. He said they would be placed at the same sites and in the same silos as the Soviet-era Voyevoda missiles they replace, saving “colossal resources and time”.
The launch of the “super-weapon” was a historic event that would ensure the safety of Russian children and grandchildren for the next 30-40 years, Rogozin added. Western concern over the risk of nuclear war has grown since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his February 24 invasion of Ukraine with a speech in which he pointedly referenced Moscow’s nuclear forces. and warned that any attempt to embarrass Russia “will lead you to such consequences as you have never encountered in your history.”
“The prospect of nuclear conflict, once unthinkable, is now back within the realm of possibility,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last month.
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