- Jon Lockett Jan 2 2021, 7:49 ET Updated: Jan 2 2021, 8:22 ET
RUSSIA is poised to test an “unstoppable” 15,000mph nuclear missile it boasts can beat any defense and wipe out Texas.
The RS-28 Sarmat doomsday rocket is now primed to replace the much-feared R-36 – once dubbed the “Satan” nuke by Nato.
The Kremlin brags it has a range of around 6,200 miles, can carry 16 warheads and is able to dodge any missile defense system.
Its huge payload is capable of destroying an area the size of the Lone Star State according to Zvezda, the Russian defence ministry’s TV channel.
The introduction of the long-heralded weapon has been pushed back multiple times amid delays in testing, reports The Times.
But Alexei Krivoruchko – Russia’s deputy defence minister – revealed long-distance launches are now imminent.
He said: “I will note that ejection tests of the Sarmat missile are completed with positive results.
“In the near future we will begin carrying out flight tests of this rocket complex.”
Krivoruchko then chillingly added: “By virtue of its capabilities, no missile defense weapon, even the most advanced, can hinder it.”
The RS-28 – which will eventually be stationed in Siberia – was among an array of new weapons unveiled by Vladimir Putin in 2018.
Others include the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which the Russian leader said could fly “like a meteorite, like a ball of fire”.
The new Sarmat nuke – known in the West as Satan-2 – is seen as Russia’s most powerful nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile.
Just one of them contains eight megatons of TNT-equivalent explosive power.
That is more than 400 times more powerful than either of the two bombs the US dropped on Japan in the final days of World War Two.
This means they are capable of pulverising an area the size of England or Texas.
Resulting nuclear fallout would then spread from the destroyed zone, depending on wind speed and direction.
Last month, Putin said a new “arms race has already begun” between the US and Russia and that his country’s new hypersonic missiles are ready for use in combat.
His worrying words came just months before the New Start treaty, the last major nuclear arms control treaty between the two countries, is due to expire.
Speaking at his annual set-piece press conference, Putin discussed Russia’s military capability and its bearing on US-Russia relations.
He was asked whether a failure to renew the New Start treaty, which committed both parties to a reduction in nuclear missile launchers, would mean the start of a new arms race.
“The arms race has already begun,” he said. “After the US withdrew from the nuclear defense treaty, that’s exactly what happened.
“Their country is now building an umbrella to protect itself.”
The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, introduced in 1972, was a treaty between the US and Soviet Union that limited the development of systems used to defend against ballistic missile-delivered nuclear weapons.
In 2002, the US withdrew, citing the need to protect itself against nuclear blackmail from rogue states, and subsequently establishing the Missile Defense (Click to Source)