Putin threatens to deploy new Satan II nuclear missile – which can reach Britain in just three minutes – by the end of 2022
- Putin also says Russia will boost military following damage suffered in Ukraine
- He praised his ‘hero’ soldiers as he hosted military graduates at the Kremlin
- President said first Sarmat missiles will be on combat duty by the end of the year
- The ‘Satan II’ said to be world’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile
Vladimir Putin has threatened to deploy Russia’s new Satan II nuclear missile, which can reach the UK in just three minutes, by the end of 2022.
The Russian president has also said the country will also continue to boost its military following damage suffered during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine and praised his troops for battling ‘like heroes’.
Speaking as he hosted military academy graduates at the Kremlin on Tuesday, Putin said Russia will place the first batch of Sarmat ballistic missiles on combat duty by the end of the year as part of the efforts, The Telegraph reports.
The Sarmat missile, or ‘Satan II’, is said to be the world’s longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile, capable of striking a target 11,200 miles away – meaning it could easily strike targets in the US and Europe.
Putin has previously hailed the development of the missile, which was successfully test-fired in April, ‘a big, significant event’ for Russia’s defense industry, saying the Sarmat will ‘ensure Russia’s security from external threats and make those who try to threaten our country with aggressive rhetoric think twice.’
Western military experts have said the Sarmat is capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys – easily enough to wipe out territories the size of Britain or France in a single strike.
Russian President Vladimir Putin pictured leading a State Consul meeting in Moscow on Tuesday
A photo realased by the Russian Defence Ministry of an RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile blasting off during a test launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome
Putin’s ‘propagandist-in-chief’ Dmitry Kiselyov previously threatened to drown Britain twice in a radioactive tidal wave using Satan-2 missile
And commander of Russia’s strategic missile forces Colonel Sergei Karakayev told Kremlin state television last month that they can fly with different trajectories and evade missile defence systems.
He said: ‘There is no existing air defence for the Sarmat missile systems, and it will probably not exist in the coming decades.’
Among other new additions referenced by Putin in his speech are S-500 missile defence systems that he has claimed to be ‘unmatched in the world’.
It comes after last month saw a state TV broadcast suggest Britain should be bombed back to the Stone Age ‘in ten minutes’ with an attack by new nuclear-capable Zircon – or Tsirkon – missiles.
Politician Aleksey Zhuravlyov and TV propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov had earlier advocated striking Britain with Satan-2.
And Russian state TV pundit, Yaakov Kedmi, a Moscow-born former Israeli diplomat, said Russia’s new hypersonic Zircon missile should be deployed to wipe out 50 or 60 power stations in the UK ‘in ten minutes’, plunging the country into darkness.
Hosts on Channel One’s 60 Minutes programme announced the cities of London, Paris and Berlin could be hit within 200 seconds of nuclear missiles being launched back in April.
On the show, the chairman of the nationalist Rodina party, Aleksey Zhuravlyov, pondered what would happen if Russia launched nuclear weapons against the UK, saying: ‘one Sarmat missile and the British Isles will be no more.’
When pulled up on the comment by one of the hosts, he insisted he was ‘saying this seriously’, while another host added that the UK has nuclear weapons too and that ‘no one will survive in this war’.
Russia has claimed its most potent nuclear missile, the 16,000mph hypersonic ‘Satan-2’, can destroy the UK
Producers on the show then showed viewers a map seeming to suggest missiles could be launched from Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea.
It suggested these could reach Berlin in 106 seconds, Paris in 200 seconds and London in 202 seconds.
Are there any defences against intercontinental ballistic missiles?
A number of countries maintain anti-missile systems which aim to shoot down or destroy missiles before the are able to reach their intended targets.
But these systems are typically only effective against small numbers of missiles, travelling well below hypersonic speeds.
The advent of hypersonic missile technology and long-range ICBMs, such as Russia’s latest Sarmat missile, have made anti-missile systems largely redundant.
The U.S.’ Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation said that ‘despite decades of research, development, and testing, there remains no reliably effective anti-missile system to counter intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)’.
Existing missile defence systems, such as the U.S. Patriot system, can target incoming short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles whose threat is localised to one region, but cannot effectively protect against nuclear-capable ICBMs such as the Sarmat that can deploy warheads across vast areas.
According to former Assistant Secretary of Defense and U.S. chief weapons evaluator Philip Coyle: ‘All missile defense systems can be overwhelmed… It is only if the attack is limited that the defense can have a hope of not being overwhelmed.’
In the early 2000s, the U.S. began work on developing a specialised system designed to intercept ICBMs, known as the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.
This aims to use a range of sensors and radars, based in locations around the world and in space, to detect ICBM launches and destroy them out of the Earth’s atmosphere, before the warheads have a chance to re-enter and hit their targets.
But the programme is wildly expensive and has returned extremely poor results, even in scripted tests in perfect conditions.