Russia just announced a nuclear missile capable of destroying Texas
Vladimir Putin likes to portray himself as a man’s man. That often means riding a horse with his shirt off, hunting in the Siberian Tyva region, holding a big gun with his top off or fly fishing, you guessed it, with his top off. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Russia has built a new nuclear missile — known as Satan 2 obviously — which is big enough to blow up the whole of Texas.
On Tuesday, Russia released the first photos of the new nuclear missile. The Satan 2 (or the RS-28 Sarmat to give the missile its less terrifying name) will replace Russia’s current nuclear weapon, the SS-18, which is now almost 30 years old, built during the final years of the Soviet Union and not capable of matching today’s sophisticated missile defence systems. During a period of strained relations with much of the West, Russia seems to be looking to beef up its weapons system. President Putin recently suspended a treaty with Washington that would have seen Russia dispose of Plutonium originally intended for nuclear weapons.
To get a sense of the power and capabilities of Satan 2, it’s best to look at the figures:
- 10,000 – the number of kilometres Satan 2 can travel, according to the Daily Mail, meaning it can reach all of Europe, as well as the east and west coasts of the U.S.
- 7 – kilometres per second is how fast the Satan 2 can travel, meaning it could reach London from Moscow in under 6 minutes
- 40 – megatons, which makes it 2,000 times more powerful than the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during world war 2
- 16 – nuclear warheads meaning it would be capable of destroying an area the size of Texas, or the whole of France.
- 2018 – when the new missile is expected to go into service.
To put the potential of the new weapon in perspective, here’s what former assistant secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy Dr. Paul Craig Roberts said about the original Satan rockets:
“One Russian SS-18 wipes out three-fourths of New York state for thousands of years,” he wrote in a blog post. “Five or six of these ‘Satans’ as they are known by the US military, and the East Coast of the United States disappears.”
Cover: ASSOCIATED PRESS