Russia is unveiling its newest nuclear missile, which carries a payload large enough to destroy Washington, D.C., in its entirety.
The RS-28 Sarmat missile, better known by its diabolical nickname “Satan 2,” was unveiled by the Russian military Tuesday. Russia’s newest nuke carries a payload of 40 megatons, making it around 2,000 times as powerful as the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Kremlin-funded Sputnik News claimed the new weapon is capable of destroying an area “the size of Texas.”
While Sputnik’s wild claim is highly inaccurate, a 40-megaton warhead is nothing to be trifled with. If the Satan 2 is detonated in Washington, D.C. it will immediately kill 2.5 million people, while injuring another 2.1 million, according to NukeMap, a website which quantifies the potential destruction caused by nuclear weapons.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) October 25, 2016
Russia announced its plans for a new inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) in 2013. The new Satan 2 will replace the original Satan, which was developed during the height of the Cold War in the 1970s. The missile’s 40-megaton payload makes it one of the deadliest nuclear weapons ever created, the largest being the 50-megaton Tsar Bomba tested in 1961. The Satan 2 also has the ability to avoid countermeasures, making it difficult to shoot down. The deployment of the Satan 2 is slated to begin in 2018, with all original Satan missiles being replaced by 2020.
The Satan 2 announcement comes at a time when U.S.-Russian relations are at their worst since the Cold War. Disputes over Russia’s involvement in Syria and Ukraine are significantly undermining relations. The U.S. intelligence community believes Russia is also involved in the hacking of American political institutions occurring over the last year, an October announcement reveals.
Russia’s unveiling of the Satan 2 follows President Vladimir Putin’s cessation of a U.S.-Russian nuclear agreement Oct. 2. The move sparked concerns regarding a potential new arms race between the U.S. and Russia. The advent of the Satan 2 appears to confirm those concerns.
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