Flying Death: the most terrible Russian missile

During half a year of full-scale war, Russia fired thousands of missiles at Ukraine, both cruise and ballistic.  Both aimed at military and civilian targets, killing people.

A significant part of its missiles – both ballistic and cruise – are named high-precision in Russia, claiming a probable circular deviation from the target from two to twenty meters.  But, as the military and analysts say, this is information that is difficult to verify.

Russian missile strikes lead to tragic consequences and war crimes.  In June, 21 people died after an X-22 hit a shopping center in Kremenchug.  Then there were two impacts of these missiles, which were ment to strike aircraft carrier groups back in the sixties.  The circular deviation of such a missile is 500 meters.

In August, the British Royal Defense Research Institute (RUSI) presented a report on Western electronics in Russian weapons.  The authors of the study were able to find 27 Russian systems for the military – there they found 450 elements from the USA, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and other countries.  Including parts of  the Kalibr, Kh-101 and 9M727 missiles from the Iskander complex, dual purpose components were found, i.e. for military purposes, although part of the international sanctions against Russia have been in force since 2014.

A quote from the report states that in order to ensure target engagement, the Russian military has developed advanced inertial and navigation sensors to guide the missile while maneuvering at low altitude and avoiding anti-aircraft missiles.  One of the critical sensors found on the 9M727 and the X-101 is the GLONASS and GPS guidance unit.  The developer, KB “Navis”, has avoided Western sanctions, despite the fact that it provides critical technology for the country’s missile program.

“In the future, Russia will be able to resume production, but they will have poor guidance, problems with range, not such a combat-capable warhead, and so on.  What we see in many cases with sanctions against countries is that the systems become less combat-ready.  Whatever Russia restores over time, it probably won’t be of the same quality as it is now,” says Michael Boehnert, an engineer at the RAND think tank in the United States.

Putin recently announced that he was preparing to test the Satan-2 intercontinental nuclear missile.  The missile is said to be capable of carrying more than ten warheads at a speed of 16,000 miles per hour and has the ability to strike Britain in 6 minutes.  What are the features of the Sarmat missile?

R-36M (SS-18 Satan)

The R-36 was a Soviet Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). It was designated by the West as SS-9 Scarp. It was the first model that eventually evolved into a whole R-36 family of Soviet ICBMs. First cold-launch tests of the R-36 missile were conducted in January 1971. This original version, called the Mod.1, was able to carry a single nuclear warhead with a blast yield of 18-25 MT. This missile had a range of 11 200 km. Later the R-36 evolved into the improved R-36M (Western designation SS-18 Satan), capable of carrying a MIRV payload of 10 warheads. Each with 550-750 kT yield. The R-36M missile could also carry a single warhead of up to 20 MT. Development of this missile began in 1969. Its first test launch was made in 1973. A first batch of 56 missiles was deployed in 1977, but these were later replaced by more modern Mod.3 and Mod.4 versions.

All variants of the Satan are silo-launched. Silos are located in dispersed locations. The silo launcher and command point are hardened against a nuclear explosion.

Upon launch the missile is shot out of the container. The main engine is ignited tens of meters above the ground. Throughout the years the Satan missile proved to be reliable, as most launches were successful.

The R-36M is able to employ multiple trajectories over the North Pole or South Pole, in order to reach targets in the United States. The R-36M is a very capable missile, mainly because of its high speed and extremely high throw weight. It can carry up to 10 MIRVs and up to 40 decoys. So, this missile is hard to intercept. These decoys would appear as warheads for anti-ballistic missile systems, requiring engagement of additional targets and rendering defenses ineffective

We will remind you that in the summer the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin promised that the first complex “Sarmat” will be on combat duty by the end of the year.

In May, Dmitry Rogozin, who at that time headed Roscosmos, boasted that the Russian Armed Forces would soon receive almost fifty Sarmat missiles, so he advised to speak more politely with the Russians.

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