News Analysis |
Russia’s Defence Ministry claims that it has successfully tested, for the second time, Russia’s most advanced nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM on March 30, 2018. The missile “Sarmat” is supposed to replace the current Soviet-era missile called “Veovoda”. It has been launched from a base in Plesetsk in northwest Russia, close to the Arctic Circle. The first test on the missile was conducted last year.
There are some factors which led Russia for these tests in this particular time. For instance, it has faced criticism from several countries after UK blamed the country for the poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal. Later on, more than 22 countries announced to expel Russian diplomats from their territory. The US has expelled 60 Russian diplomats last week. The Kremlin also responded on Thursday by expelling 60 American diplomats from Russia.
The US may spending a trillion-dollar plus modernization program of its own, including new submarine and land-based missiles and a new stealth bomber armed with a new stealthy, long-range cruise missile.
“No kind of, not even future missile defense systems will offer any trouble to the Russian rocket complex, Sarmat,” Putin said in his state of the nation speech. NATO has called the missile “Satan 2.” It was in the development process since 2011 and is expected to carry an increased number of nuclear warheads and has an increased range. Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech during a session of the Federal Security Service (FSB) board in Moscow, March 5, 2018, “No kind of, not even future missile defense systems will offer any trouble to the Russian rocket complex, Sarmat,” Russia claims that Sarmat can defeat any US missile defenses.
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According to defense source, the missile will enter service by 2021, with serial production beginning in 2020. Putin has explained that Sarmat weighs 200 metric tons. As US also recently conducted test of its Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile on regular basis. According to some nuclear experts that Trident II missile is so accurate that experts fear it may put Russia on an edge. Russia has long protested the U.S.’ development of a missile defense shield in Europe, which the U.S. argues is intended to guard against North Korea and Iran, but which the Kremlin says can be directed at Russia. Putin presented the Sarmat and the other superweapons render missile defense useless and suggested it should prompt the U.S. to abandon the Europe-based shield.
The testing of Sarmat is an indication of the warfare competition that will be increasing between the US and Russia. Simultaneously, these developments are not far from the threat of war between the two countries because of arms race which can create any miscalculation and misperception. US President, Donald Trump has congratulated Putin on his remarkable victory in the last presidential elections in Russia on a phone call. Trump said to Putin, “If you want to have an arms race, we can do that, but I’ll win”, according to NBC.
There are some factors which led Russia for these tests in this particular time. For instance, it has faced criticism from several countries after UK blamed the country for the poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal.
The US may spending a trillion-dollar plus modernization program of its own, including new submarine and land-based missiles and a new stealth bomber armed with a new stealthy, long-range cruise missile. It is quite interesting that both Russia and US are NPT member states and in favor of non-nuclear proliferation regime. Simultaneously, both countries instead of reducing the number of nuclear weapons, they are enhancing their efforts to develop beyond submarine launched warheads and sea-launched cruise missiles. The current arms race between the US and Russia competition is introducing new threats that could threaten the security of Russia and the United States.
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During the cold war US and the Soviet Union, both, built a stock of nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union believed that through their nuclear weapons they could fight and win the war. However the US adopted the policy of nuclear deterrence, which was to counter attack and defend from any nuclear missile, successfully, through their nuclear weapons. Is the US developing a shield to defend itself from Russia once again? The Pentagon spokesperson, White, rejected that. “They know very well that it’s not about them,” she said. “Our missile defense has never been about them.” The U.S. has always insisted that the missile shield is intended to provide defense against Iran and North Korea, an argument Russian officials have said they don’t believe.