Moscow moves up plan to finally scrap Soviet-era missiles

Russian RS-28 Sarmat (NATO reporting name SS-X-30) is a Russian liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped, superheavy thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile, in development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. It is intended to replace the old R-36M missile (SS-18 Satan). (Photo: video capture from the Russian Ministry of Defense / TASS. Caption: Wikipedia)

Russian RS-28 Sarmat (NATO reporting name SS-X-30) is a Russian liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped, superheavy thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile, in development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. It is intended to replace the old R-36M missile (SS-18 Satan). (Photo: video capture from the Russian Ministry of Defense / TASS. Caption: Wikipedia) 

Opinion, Russia

Edited by: A. N.

Thirty years after the end of the USSR, the Russian defense ministry has announced that it will begin scrapping strategic missiles from the Soviet era and replace them with updated versions, a mark of just how dependent the Russian Federation remains on what the Soviets achieved even in the defense sector.

Sergey Karakayev, the commander of the Russian strategic rocket forces, says that the Voyevoda rockets – called “Satan” by NATO – created in 1980s will be scrapped next year and replaced by what Moscow calls Sarmat missiles.

The Voyevoda rockets, with their ten independently-targeted reentry vehicles carrying a one-megaton warhead were perhaps “the most threatening element of the Soviet nuclear triad,” Finanz.ru says. According to Western sources, there were about 40 such weapons still in place as of the end of 2019.

It had been planned to keep them in service until 2027; but after Putin announced the introduction of hypersonic weaponry in 2018, that date has been advanced to next week when the Sarmats, a significantly advanced form of the earlier rockets, are now scheduled to replace them as a major component of Russian military strength.

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Edited by: A. N.
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