Goodbye ‘Satan’: Russia to get rid of iconic ICMB & get top replacement

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Russia is soon to start scrapping Soviet-era intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) dubbed by NATO as SS-18 Satan, according to the Defense Ministry. The missiles to replace them, Sarmat, boast cutting-edge capabilities.

 “It [Satan missile] is at the end of its life span, and we are about to start discarding that missile,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said.

Borisov did not elaborate on the exact model though. Six modifications have been developed since its deployment in 1974.

The once-state-of-the-art liquid-propelled missile is known in Russia as R-36 Voevoda, but in the West it’s dubbed with the more fearsome name, Satan. The aging weapon will be replaced with new-generation Sarmat missiles, which are to become latest additions to Russian arsenal, Borisov said.

“There is no doubt that by the end of Voevoda’s resource capabilities, we will get new Sarmat missiles,” he said.

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RS-20 Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan). © Vladimir Fedorenko
Russia unveils first image of prospective ICBM set to replace ‘Satan’ missile

The ICBM is capable of overcoming missile defense systems and has already completed tests, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during his state of the nation address on March 1. The missile “practically no range restrictions” and is capable of carrying a wide range of nuclear weapons.