About the missile-
- The Sarmat missile is a new nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile that has been in the works since the 2000s.
- It was test-launched for the first time from Plesetsk in northwest Russia.
- The missile weighs more than 200 tonnes and can transport more than ten warheads.
- It is a three-stage, liquid-fueled missile with a range of 18,000 km.
- The missile is 35.3 metres long and 3 metres in diameter.
- It has been designed to elude anti-missile defence systems with a short initial boost phase, giving enemy surveillance systems a tiny window to track.
- Sarmat has been dubbed Satan 2 by Western analysts.
- It is among Russia’s next-generation missiles that Putin has called “invincible,” and which also include the Kinzhal and Avangard hypersonic missiles.
- As per the Russian President, it has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence and can hit any target on Earth.
- It will also be the first Russian missile which can carry smaller hypersonic boost-glide vehicles.
- It is more lethal than the R-36M Voyevoda ICBMs (NATO name Satan) currently in service in Russia.
- The Sarmat is named after nomadic tribes that roamed the steppes of present-day Southern Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan in the early medieval period and were highly developed in horsemanship and warfare.
What is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)?
- An intercontinental ballistic missile is a missile with a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery.
- Similarly, conventional, chemical, and biological weapons can also be delivered with varying effectiveness, but have never been deployed on ICBMs.
- Russia, the United States, China, France, India, the United Kingdom, and North Korea are the only countries that have operational ICBMs.
- The first ICBMs were deployed by the Soviet Union in 1958; the United States followed the next year and China some 20 years later.