7 Things You Need to Know About Russia’s Shocking New Nukes
An ICBM (or intercontinental ballistic missile) works as the medium to deliver nuclear weapons from point A to point B. In the midst of North Korea and the United States’ back and forth banter over nuclear weapons, the potential for mass destruction seems to be just on the fringe of true possibility. But now, Russian President Vladimir Putin is boasting about his country’s successful tests of a new, very powerful Sarmat missile.
The reality surrounding nuclear warfare transpiring amongst Russia, North Korea, and the United States has the globe wondering if this is fearmongering or a true threat. Regardless, these are the things you need to know about Russia’s shocking new nukes.
1. This missile cannot be intercepted
According to the reports from Putin’s state of the union address, the missile — dubbed “Satan 2” or “Snowflake” — is capable of moving at Mach 20 speeds. To put that into lamens terms, Mach 20 translates to over 15,000 miles per hour. It’s the missile’s extremely high speeds that conjure up fears that in the case of a real strike against the United States or another country, Satan 2 would be “invincible.”
Next: Each missile could carry a terrifying amount of warheads.
2. Each missile can carry up to 24 warheads
The “Satan 2” Sarmat missile is a means to an end. In this case, that end would be delivering anywhere from 10 to 24 nuclear warheads to Russia’s geographic region of choice. Of course, the release of just a single one of these nukes would be a devastating blow, and that fact alone lends itself to increased concern from U.S. citizens. President Trump’s impulsive nature creates the feeling that the United States may have a bulls-eye on it.
Next: The agility of “Satan 2” is even more worrisome.
3. It’s agile and can be maneuvered at very high speeds
Technology has made significant strides since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some people are under the impression that before a missile is launched, its destination is predetermined and cannot be maneuvered once it’s in the sky. Russia’s nuke missile is quite opposite. Even at Mach 20 velocity, Putin claims the missile to be both agile and highly-maneuverable — even at high speeds.
Next: A strike would not go unnoticed.
4. The strike is “like a meteorite, like a fireball”
In addition to Russia’s missiles being able to maintain Mach 20 speeds while being manipulated to change course, Putin claims the strikes made by the missile’s new Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles will be akin to something “like a meteorite, like a fireball.” Despite North Korea’s claims regarding its nukes, the Russian defense ministry claims that “this new test at the Plesetsk spaceport confirmed its characteristics during the pre-launch and initial flight phases.”
Next: The trajectory for the missile’s production schedule is terrifying.
5. Mass production could commence in 2020
That’s right, mass production. Putin made it abundantly clear that the mass production of Russia’s Sarmat missiles and nukes is slated to begin by the time Trump comes up for re-election. Consequently, strikes could be imminent as soon as 2021. Although the hysteria remains at bay, the threat of an attack would certainly impact the results of the 2020 election.
Next: How probable is an attack on U.S. soil?
6. One strike could wipe out the entire United States
Although the likelihood of a Russian attack on United States soil remains unclear, the threat is real. And even though experts in the Western hemisphere are still questioning if Russia is truly as far along in the development process as it claims, a strike from just one missile could effectively wipe out the entire U.S. and beyond.
Next: But really, is there absolutely no way to stop the missile?
7. Attempting to stop the Sarmat would require at least 500 American ABM missiles
In the event of a strike, the United States would do everything in its power to stop the Sarmat missile. But what would it really take? The chairman of Russia’s Defense and Security Committee, Viktor Bondarev, put it into perspective. It would take 500 anti-ballistic missiles to even scratch the surface of apprehending a Sarmat missile.