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December 18, 2010

Russia to keep Satan ballistic missiles in service until 2026

(RIA Novosti)  Russia will continue to deploy SS-18 Satan heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) as part of the country's nuclear arsenal until at least 2026, the commander of Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) said Friday.
"The extension of the service life of the systems equipped with RS-20V [SS-18 Satan] missiles will allow us to keep these most powerful missiles in the world until 2026," Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said.
Introduced almost 33 years ago, the missile is routinely tested and has proved to be a very reliable weapon.
"At this point, there are no serious technical restrictions to continue extending the missile's service life," the general said.
The missile is armed with a warhead containing 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) with a yield of 550 to 750 kilotons each. It has a maximum range of 11,000 km (6,800 miles) with a launch mass of over 210 tons and a payload of 8.8 tons.
According to publicly available sources, Russia currently has 88 SS-18 missile silo launchers, most of them deployed at the Dombarovsky missile base in the Orenburg Region.

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