Putin announces fearsome 'Satan II' missile will be deployed by this autumn
London, April 24 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced his regime's latest nuclear-capable missile will be deployed as early as this autumn, saying it will 'force those who try to threaten Russia to think twice', the media reported.
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, the Daily Mail reported.
Putin hailed the development of the missile, which was successfully test-fired earlier this week, 'a big, significant event' for Russia's defence 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.'
"The missile can break through all modern anti-missile defences," he declared.
"There is nothing like this anywhere in the world, and won't be for a long time," Daily Mail reported.
Western military experts 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.
However, analysts believe the autumn target revealed by Putin and Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Roscosmos space agency, is an ambitious one because Moscow reported its first test-launch only on Wednesday and more tests will be needed before the missile can be deployed.
This week's test, after years of delays due to funding and technical issues, marks a show of strength by Russia at a time when the war in Ukraine has sent tensions with the US and its allies soaring to their highest levels since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.