Russia tests nuclear-capable missile in warning to enemies
Putin boasts new intercontinental ballistic weapon will provide rivals with ‘food for thought’
ReutersWed 20 Apr 2022 12.58 EDT
Russia has said it had test-launched its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new addition to its nuclear arsenal, which Vladimir Putin said would give Moscow’s enemies something to think about.
The Russian president was shown on television being told by the military that the missile had been launched from Plesetsk in the north-west and hit targets in the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east.
“The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence. It has no analogues in the world and will not have for a long time to come,” Putin said.
“This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security from external threats and provide food for thought for those who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country.”
The Pentagon said on Wednesday Russia had properly notified it ahead of its test launch, adding it saw the test as routine and not a threat to the United States.
Russia is expected to deploy the Sarmat with 10 or more warheads on each missile, according to the US Congressional Research Service.
It has been in development for years and so its test-launch is not a surprise for the west, but it comes at a moment of extreme geopolitical tension due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.