Russia claims that due of its capacity to destroy asteroids, its RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) can be employed for space defence if necessary.
The leading rocket scientist in Russia, Vladimir Degtyar, Director General of the Makeyev State Rocket Center, disclosed that the RS-28 Sarmat rocket has the capability to strike asteroids moving close to the left ground in order to divert their trajectory.
In the first distant defence test ever conducted, NASA’s DART spacecraft (USA) successfully collided with an asteroid in September. NASA wants to alter the asteroid Dimorphos’ orbit in order to divert the course of the spacecraft. NASA selected this asteroid as a “candidate” to test a novel method that might one day be used to stop “dangerous asteroids” from crashing into the Earth, despite the fact that it did not approach Earth close enough to pose a hazard.
According to Degtyar, the Sarmat missile was initially created and developed for use in the military. Due to its exorbitant cost and wasteful potential, its “anti-asteroid” function is mainly incidental given the low likelihood of an asteroid-Earth collision.
The RS-28 Sarmat is a Russian heavy ICBM that can launch nuclear warheads and is well-positioned. According to Russian media, Sarmat has the ability to go through the North and South Poles to deliver MIRV warheads weighing up to 10 tonnes to any location on Earth.
MIRV, or multi-guided warhead technology, describes the capability of Sarmat to launch numerous warheads simultaneously. Each warhead can reach targets hundreds of kilometres away, depending on the technique.
Russia claims that Sarmat can transport the Avangard hypersonic launcher, a weapon that flies at more than 27 times the speed of sound, in addition to warheads. This is seen as a feature that transforms it into an invincible “power” in the Russian arsenal.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry once: “The world’s most potent and far-reaching missile is called the Sarmat. It will significantly boost the strategic nuclear armed forces of Russia’s combat capability.”
The ICBM Sarmat has a range of 18,000 kilometers, a launch weight of more than 200 tons, and 178 tonnes of fuel. The missile has a 3 m diameter and a length of 35.5 m.
Divert the asteroid
Russian Strategic Missile Forces commander Sergei Karakaev reportedly told Zvezda channel: “Sarmat’s course is probably going to shift. If necessary, it may modify its orbit from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Additionally, it has the capacity to shift in other orbits and launch into space.”
Karakaev claimed that Sarmat might protect planets or divert asteroids after being launched into space.
Degtyar, a rocket scientist, added that researchers in this country have studied and disassembled Sarmat’s asteroid launch feature.
Russia is developing a line of “interceptors” with a target range of 10-100 metres that can take on minor space objects.
Only huge space objects approaching Earth can now be tracked by Russia’s ground-based technology, roughly 5-7 hours before a potential impact. Therefore, Sarmat is an excellent choice for the asteroid launch mission to alter the asteroid’s orbit so as to prevent a collision with Earth due to its high energy, high thrust-to-weight ratio, and quick launch time.
In the most recent development, Russia declared that intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) RS-28 Sarmat mass production had started. In the ensuing 40–50 years, this missile will serve as the main force to safeguard Russian national security and improve the army’s fighting prowess.