RUSSIA is preparing to deploy its devastating intercontinental ballistic missile, dubbed 'Satan 2', by this autumn, the country's military has claimed.
Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, revealed the Kremlin's ambitious target to launch the Sarmat ICBM only days after Russia test-launched the missile.
The deadly projectile, nicknamed Satan 2, can fly 11,000 miles, carry more than 12 warheads and has the potential to destroy an area the size of the United Kingdom.
Rogozin said a unit is to be deployed to Uzhur, around 1,800 miles east of Moscow, with the Satan-2 later this year, according to the state-run Tass news agency.
Russia successfully test-launched the missile on Wednesday with video showing the enormous 115-foot missile being launched froman underground silo, triggering an enormous fireball.
It travelled almost the entire length of Russia – almost 3,600 miles – in around 15 minutes.
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The missile landed at Kura Missile Test Range on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of the country, according to Russian defence sources.
The launch of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile will give "food for thought for those who try to threaten Russia," the Russian president warned.
The separate warheads in the Satan 2 missile are capable of detaching from the main 100-tonne missile before travelling towards their target at hypersonic speeds.
The bombs are 1,000 more powerful than those dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during World War Two.
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This means they are capable of pulverising an area the size of England and Wales or Texas in the USA.
Russia's defence ministry bragged that the Sarmat ICBM is able to overcome any missile defence systems.
"Thanks to the energy-mass characteristics of the missile, the range of its combat equipment has fundamentally expanded both in terms of the number of warheads and types, including hypersonic gliders," the ministry said in a statement.
Douglas Barrie, senior fellow for military aerospace at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said Russia's option of firing it over either of the Earth's poles could pose as an obstacle to ground and satellite-based radar and tracking systems, Reuters reported.
But the military expert said the proposed timeline to deploy by the end of the year is ambitious.
He believes more testing will be needed before Russia is able to deploy the catastrophic weapon.
A growing band of Kremlin insiders fear their Russian leader will resort to nuclear weapons to defeat Ukraine and halt a palace coup, reports say.
Some elite members in Moscow are also questioning President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of its neighbour and its economic and political impact.
Putin’s critics are spread across senior positions in government and state-run business, according to Bloomberg who cited ten sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
His opponents believe the war against Ukraine has been a terrible blunder and will set Russia back decades.
During an interview on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov didn’t give a direct answer to repeated questions on whether Russia might use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
The interim US ambassador to the UK, Philip Reeker, told Sky News: “Well, as our director of Central Intelligence, Bill Burns, said in open testimony last week, this is something we have to be concerned about.
"Putin himself has raised this. So certainly it's something we have to watch very closely, the kind of brutality that Putin has enacted – we've seen it before, but it's hard to imagine what he's doing.
"And it seems like there's very little that would stop him, particularly when he makes those kinds of threats."
The former British ambassador to Ukraine, Leigh Turner said: “If Russia is visibly losing this war, it could be that Putin would authorise their use."
Boris Johnson has said that the UK was looking at sending tanks to support Poland as it supplies Ukraine with heavy weaponry.
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Gen Sir Chris Deverell, former commander of the UK’s Joint Forces Command, has said: "I don’t think it’s a crazy idea."
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