Is Russia About to Deploy the World's Most Advanced ICBM?
Russia’s advanced RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile is an exceptionally powerful, dangerous weapon
If you're shopping for a new ICBM, Russia's RS-26 is the probably the best missile that rubles can buy. [Editor's note: As far as we know, the RS-26 is not for sale in any currency. But if you find one on eBay, please e-mail us immediately.]
The missile, which is expected to become operational sometime this year, is even turning heads in Washington and Beijing. According to Russian news reports:
In a Chinese television program aired earlier this month a local defense expert hailed the unique characteristics of the Russian ICBM and the fear it had instilled in the hearts of foreign militaries
There's a lesson here, somewhere. Maybe, "don't surround Russia with military bases"? Yes, maybe.
What makes the RS-26 so special is that even though it weighs just 80 tons, compared to the 120-ton heft of its RS-24 Yars predecessor, the Rubezh packs a frightening 1,2 megatons into its four 300 kiloton warheads.
Moreover, its booster stage is down to under five minutes, which means that NATO radars in Europe will have no time to register the launch.
Adding to NATO air defenders’ worries, during the descending section of its trajectory, with only a few hundred kilometers left to the target, the missile’s warheads suddenly take a dive, lose altitude, and continue the approach as a cruise missile.