Russia Plans to Release A New Nuclear Missile in 2018

Visitors look at a SS-18 SATAN intercontinental ballistic missile at the Strategic Missile Forces museum near Pervomaysk

Reuters reports that Russia is planning on deploying a new type of long range missiles sometime in 2018. These missiles will be replacing the Cold War missile known as “Satan” to the West. A military commander has said on December 17, 2013 that this is a sign to the United States that Russia is steadily improving their nuclear weaponry.

A new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile is being called the Sarmat. it’s being developed to replace the RS-20B Voyevoda. This information comes from the commander of Russia’s strategic Rocket Forces, General Sergei Karakayev.

“We are counting on being armed with this qualitatively new missile system … by 2018-2020,” he was quoted as saying.

The Voyevoda, which NATO has dubbed the SS-18 Satan, was developed in the 70s and they are reaching the end of their service life. Karalayev has said that some of the ICBMs would still remain active well into 2022.

The commander also noted that on the anniversary of the Strategic Rocket Forces, the military branch that is in charge of the ICBMs. It is said that these missiles were “stuff in nightmares” for the United States during the stand off between the US and the Soviets.

Russia and the United States signed the latest treaties that restricted the number of ICBMs a nation could have back in 2010. Moscow has since made motions that it will no longer go further in the future; reasoning that the United Stats is a potential threat because of their weapon systems.

President Putin has stressed that Russia must remain a strong nuclear deterrent, partially because of an anti–missile shield the US has been creating in Europe. Russia feels that this could undermine its security.

A newspaper reported on Monday that Moscow has deployed missiles with a range of several hundreds of miles in the western exclave of Kaliningrad. This alarmed the governments of their neighbors, Poland and the Baltic states.

It remains unclear if the Sarmat was a missile that Russia tested back in May of 2012. It is believed that the Sarmat will improve Russia’s chances of stopping any missile defense system. The Defense Ministry didn’t share the name of the missile.

Putin has pledged to spend 23 trillion roubles, which equals to around $700 billion, by 2020 to upgrade Russia’s defense. Unfortunately for them, the crucial strategic missile program that is separate from the Sarmat has been plagued by many problems.

It is said that the Bulava missile is scheduled to have been released in 2012, but because of tailed tests and an unsuccessful launch in September, the Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu has ordered a new round of testing.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE