back to article Russia poised to unleash 'Son of Satan' ICBM

Russia has announced it's ready to start field trials on its RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, intended to replace the existing R-36M2 Voevoda (NATO designation SS-18 "Satan"). According to this report, quoting Russian news agency Zvezda, the two-stage, liquid-fuelled RS-28 tips the scales at 100 tonnes, and is …

  1. Nik 2
    Mushroom

    [quote] capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France [/quote]

    Charming...

    1. zen1
      Mushroom

      But what about the environment?

      The propellant certainly isn't very green...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But what about the environment?

        you witty devil zen1

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: But what about the environment?

        "The propellant certainly isn't very green..."

        But the warheads counteract that.

        After they're delivered, everything in the target areas glows green, and you can't get much greener than that!

      3. Scorchio!!
        Angel

        Re: But what about the environment?

        "The propellant certainly isn't very green..."

        Ah, but the secret lies in the incineration process, you see!

      4. Tat2Ninja

        Re: But what about the environment?

        There won't be an environment if one of these ever goes off.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don''t worry, it'll buff right out

    3. The First Dave

      [quote] capable of wiping out ... Texas or France [/quote]

      Doesn't sound _too_ bad to me, particularly if Trump happened to be there.

    4. Croc O'Dial

      The problem?

      "capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France"

      That's a bit extreme to be honest. However, I can appreciate where they're coming from.

  2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Two steps forward...

    ... 10,000km back. It's a good thing everyone agrees that nuclear weapons are a bad thing and are working toward drawing down their provisioning. The former USSR bankrupted itself in part because of the arms race. The relative size of the various players' economies have not changed in Russia's favor. What has changed to make the outcome different?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Two steps forward...

      It's just the same old sabre-rattling. Nothing much has really changed since the bad old days of the Cold War.

      1. GX5000

        Re: Two steps forward...

        Pour more SALT, we need it.....

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Two steps forward...

      This is the Russian response to US plans to put an anti-ICBM launch site in Poland, pretty much a direct challenge to the Russian nuclear deterrant. "To our NATO strategic partners. Try shooting this one down, suckers. Love, Ivan".

      Basically, for Russian ICBMs to remain a part of a strategic defense (as well as projection of national power - Putin's Big Thing) they needed to a) replace the older system anyway and b) keep them technologically relevant.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Two steps forward...

        and waste a lot of resources doing so. Anti missile technology is useful in multiple genres. ICBMs less so.

        1. Esme

          Re: Two steps forward...

          @Danny 14 - ooh, I dunno. ICBM technology was what won Russia the space race right up until the Apollo moon landings.

          It's using ICBM technology as ICBM's that isn't terribly helpful.

        2. cray74

          Re: Two steps forward...

          and waste a lot of resources doing so. Anti missile technology is useful in multiple genres. ICBMs less so.

          Larger ICBMs, like the MX and this one, can serve as light satellite launchers. The US is still producing Peacekeeper motors for civilian launch purposes.

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Two steps forward...

        SSC: "anti-ICBM... ...in Poland......"

        "...Try shooting this one down, suckers. Love, Ivan."

        If you can catch it on the way up, while it's still boosting, then the MIRVs and Counter-Measures won't yet be available.

        I have no idea if Poland is close enough...

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Two steps forward...

          If you can catch it on the way up

          That is what the Shrub and his advisors thought. That Russians will try to do exactly that and will just put more missiles, more expenses, etc - the whole Reagan age race scenario.

          They smiled and changed to suborbital trajectories - Iskander, Bulava and most likely the Son of Satan go on a much lower trajectory than USSR ICBMs. As a result USA wasted an ungodly amount of money on interceptor stations which was countered by one battery of Iskanders in Kaliningrad at something like 1% of the cost. Similarly, Bulava and its associated supersonic glider warhead prototypes cost a couple of percent of what USA invested in the reinstatement of Star Wars.

          We are now in a reversal of the 80-s scenario. The ones wasting a ridiculous amount of money and not delivering are not the Russians.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Voland's right hand Re: Two steps forward...

            "....Iskander, Bulava and most likely the Son of Satan go on a much lower trajectory than USSR ICBM...." That low trajectory makes them vulnerable to the battlefield anti-ballistic missile systems that became popular around the same time. Even old Patriot can deal with low-trajectory ICBMs - oh, I wonder if that's why NATO keeps a battery near the border with Kalingrad?

            1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

              Re: Voland's right hand Two steps forward...

              Even old Patriot can deal with low-trajectory ICBMs.

              In their final approach - yes. If they are not maneuvering (Bulava and its recently tested Chinese equivalent). That is something Patriot can do. Sort off...

              In their takeoff phase - not a fecking chance in hell. Patriot has >40 seconds response time from hot. By that time a low trajectory ICBM will be disappearing over the horizon on the other side of the Patriot battery that is supposed to intercept the launch.

              For that you need a different class of anti-missile system - something like the David's Sling and other Israeli missile defense components. Even they will have difficulties in this particular configuration as the ICBM is going "away" from them, not towards them so they will be chasing it. A short range ICBM is past Mach 4 by the time an interceptor has launched and is not going towards the launcher. At best it is an overflight, at worst it is away from it.

            2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

              Re: Voland's right hand Two steps forward...

              Even old Patriot can deal with low-trajectory ICBMs

              Has Patriot's been tested in that role? I don't believe it was designed for it.

              I wonder if that's why NATO keeps a battery near the border with Kalingrad?

              Propaganda?

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Meh

                Re: Sorry that handle Re: Voland's right hand Two steps forward...

                ".....Has Patriot's been tested in that role?...." Even first generation Patriot could, as shown during the 1991 Gulf War when they swatted Scuds out of the sky. Iskander is little more than just a developed Scud, not the all-singing, all-dancing, magically-teleporting-about-the-sky superweapon Voland thinks it is. What Iskander can do that the new RS-28 can't is go out on the road and be launched from just about anywhere, making it much harder to strike pre-emptively or monitor for launch plumes. That was the real problem of Saddam's Scuds during the Gulf Wars - their mobility. As the RS-28 will go into already known silos they will all be under 24x7 surveillance from US satellites watching for any hint of launch activity (such as fueling up), even before we get to launch plumes (nice big IR indicator). As it is, the Kaliningrad Oblast is small enough that satellite tracking of Iskander mobile launchers trying to hide wouldn't be too hard a task.

                Iskander does pay a penalty for being mobile and staying sub-orbital in that it is smaller and much shorter-ranged (@280-500km). Going orbital makes for true long range, staying inside the atmosphere requires a massive amount of fuel to go intercontinental, especially if you want to try maneuvering inside the atmosphere. Iskander only maneuvers on the downward arc of its trajectory, not during the climb, making it vulnerable to anti-ballistic missiles after launch. If the RS-28 wants to try hypersonic maneuvering inside the atmosphere without folding up it will not be making small turns but massive arcs, which will not be hard to track and intercept. Claims that any ICBM will be flying nap-of-the-Earth like a cruise missile but at hypersonic speeds are too stupid for words, as maneuvering at such speeds would require a structure made with massive amounts of reinforcing to handle the stresses, so much so the warhead would be tiny. The fact that the RS-28 uses the same engine modules as the old R-36M2, which are not designed for hypersonic maneuvering inside the atmosphere, goes to show the RS-28 is just the same-old-same-old in an updated wrapper.

                Pootie needs his part of the MAD balance to be at least a viable threat, and there are rumours that the older Soviet ICBMs simply rotted in their silos to the point where only one-in-four were fit to launch, let alone deliver their warheads successfully. The RS-28 is just Pootie updating his old kit with new kit plus a lot of propaganda.

                1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

                  Re: Sorry that handle Voland's right hand Two steps forward...

                  From what I remember, the effectiveness of Patriot when used against Scud back in 1991 was massively overstated, but that's 25 years ago.

                  However, that Patriot might be effective against Scud isn't surprising since Patriot was designed to take down aircraft and tactical BMs just like Scud. Being an ICBM, RS-28's maximum velocity is four times faster.

                  Also I'm suitably embarrassed by my typo "Has Patriot's..."

                  1. x 7 Silver badge

                    Re: Sorry that handle Voland's right hand Two steps forward...

                    "From what I remember, the effectiveness of Patriot when used against Scud back in 1991 was massively overstated, but that's 25 years ago."

                    I think its now fairly well accepted that the tally of Scuds intercepted by Patriot during the Gulf War was zero. However as you say, that was some years ago and there have been some targeting mods made which MAY give SOME ABM defence ability. But the Patriot was never designed as an ABM defence and can't be relied upon

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      Stop

                      Re: x 7 Re: Sorry that handle Voland's right hand Two steps forward...

                      "I think its (sic) now fairly well accepted....." Er, no. There was a particularly strident group of morons that tried to claim that the Patriots were a failure because they didn't actually hit the Scuds, but this ignores the fact the Patriots weren't designed to hit but to explode near bye, the shrapnel from the airburst then damaging the target so badly it would break up. This is common to the majority of SAMs - they don't usually aim for a direct hit. The same group of morons also tried belittling the Patriots' success rate by talking about "per-missile interception rates", which again ignored the fact that Patriots were fired in groups at a target to produce several airbursts around the Scud for maximum chance of breakup. But the biggest factor in the "low" rate of interceptions was the shoddy quality of Saddam's Scuds - many simply broke up on during flight, leaving nothing for the Patriots automatically fired in anticipation to actually hit! Plenty of Scud casings were recovered riddled with hits from Patriot shrapnel. Since then, Patriot has undergone a number of enhancements to make it even better as an ABM. So, think again.

          2. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Two steps forward...

            "That Russians will try to do exactly that and will just put more missiles, more expenses, etc"

            Europe and the USA will win that battle. The Russian economy is screwed.

            1. Asterix the Gaul

              Re: Two steps forward...

              "Europe and the USA will win that battle. The Russian economy is screwed".

              I would digress from your statement about the Russian economy.

              It is a country with enormous natural resources,whereas it's the USA\UK that are 'screwed'.

              The only thing that stops America sinking economically, is it's currency,that oil is traded in.

              Someday,it will end in a massive depression, thats why it wants the EU TTIP talks to succeed & if they do, it will be the EU thats screwed.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                WTF?

                Re: Asterix the Gaul Re: Two steps forward...

                "....It is a country with enormous natural resources,whereas it's the USA\UK that are 'screwed'...." The USSR was an even bigger affair with much more resources, yet the it failed in economic competition with the West.

                Rather than worrying about the US economy, I'd suggest the problem you should be looking at is closer to Gaul. The economies that are struggling in Europe are France and Italy, both due to slow reform of employment laws due to over-cosy relationships between politicians and the labour movements. France in particular is suffering from a lack of investment from abroad seeing as foreign companies are terrified by the way French unions act illegally and violently with impunity. Germany productivity is accelerating away from France and Italy, the second and third economies in the Eurozone, which is why the UK needs to make sure it doesn't get left holding part of the EU bill for France's and Italy's past socialist policies.

        2. circuitguy

          Re: Two steps forward...

          these fuels will be made this an easy target for high energy defense systems but these fuels are more stable for storage, lowering a silo blast. too much acceleration will create problems for warhead targeting and energy "bleeding", but that said, the Russians have been interesting creative using low tech.

        3. PaulFrederick

          Re: Two steps forward...

          we can hit their ICBMs at apogee too. See Operation Burnt Frost for more on that.

      3. Scorchio!!

        Re: Two steps forward...

        "This is the Russian response to US plans to put an anti-ICBM launch site in Poland"

        It has nothing to do with that. Emerging nuclear powers are the key here.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_missile_defense_complex_in_Poland

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6720153.stm

        As to our new Russian 'friends', Russian espionage activity in the UK became even higher after the cold war. Russian military activity (e.g., Chechnyz) became elevated after the cold war. The cold war itself was punctuated by acts of savagery such as the attempts by countries in which the USSR/Russia had no rights at all to regain their freedom, stolen from them after WWII by the Russian monster.

        Russia has been assassinating any form of opposition that it can since Putin's time (e.g., more than 65 journalists, the irredentist activities in Crimea and the attack on Ukraine, which remembers the loss of 8 millions during the holodomor), and Putin has explicitly said the Soviet union was a good thing, whilst also trying to rehabilitate the mass murderer (of some 30 millions), Stalin.

        The Russian state Duma is packed out with Putin's choice of former KGB and FSB staff, including the assassin Lugovoi (who murdered Litvenenko, the former KBG Lt Col who was when employed by them charged with the task of investigating Putin's corruption), and Putin has rearranged the security and military in such a way that they are probably the most powerful and effective praetorian guard in history.

        Do not believe Putin's revisionism, no matter who spouts it.

      4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Two steps forward...

        This is the Russian response to US plans to put an anti-ICBM launch site in Poland

        No it's not. That might be their official whine, but that system is not designed to deal with Russian missiles. It's designed to defend Europe from Iranian ones. Russian missiles live in Siberia, and would be fired over the North Pole.

        This is part of the system the US have been working on to deal with threats like Iran and North Korea. Which is why they've so far deployed only someothing like 20-odd missiles, to Alaska and Guam. Although the US and Japan both station several Aegis ships around, specifically to deal with North Korean missile threats - as the SM3 can shoot ICBMs in space. Again Russian ones would be going the wrong way, and anyway there are too many of them for one or two ships only able to launch 1 or 2 SM3 at a time.

        Obama cancelled the Polish site at one point. To keep the Russians happy. I think it only came back on the agenda after the invasion of Ukraine, though I've forgotten the current status.

        You are however correct that the SS18 must have needed an upgrade pretty soon. Trident is expected to be upgraded in the 2030s, and that went operational in the 90s. But it's solid fuelled, so I'd have thought would expect to last longer. Also it goes to sea, but sealed inside a warm sub, whereas the SS18s have to live in Siberia - and I bet their silos aren't all that well heated.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Two steps forward...

          No it's not. That might be their official whine, but that system is not designed to deal with Russian missiles

          No. You are presenting only what was in the USA media. When dealing with cases like this you need to take what is printed in USA/UK media, what is printed in Russian media and remove all differences. The remaining (usually quite small) amount of information is likely to be true.

          In any case, the Russians were extremely happy with the system to be put in place, under one condition - if it is against Iran and North Korea, they would like to cooperate and provide it with live radar feed from their early warning systems in Caucasus (which by the way cover all of Iran) and possibly more radars further East. That by the way was printed not only in their media, but in several Eu newspapers at the time.

          Bush said "no way". That immediately defined for them this system as hostile.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Two steps forward...

            Russians joining in with anti missile

            This is what I would have done, get them on side.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Two steps forward...

              The problem with getting Russia onside is - what if you don't trust them?

              Someone on this thread mentioned how Russia has almost no national debt, and compared unfavourably with the US, which has much. But Russia voluntarily reneged on most of its national debt in the 1990s - at a time when they could have paid at least some of it. Thus they can't borrow easily, because nobody trusts them. This is why Greece can borrow on the markets cheaper than Russia, even though Russia has a huge oil income, and Greece is basically bankrupt. But Greece is trusted to at least make an effort to pay back.

              Even the Russian government don't trust the Russian government. Which is why so many of the elites keep their money outside the country. Which is one of their many economic problems, because there's only money to invest when the oil price is booming. But they actually need to invest massively in their oil industry now, as much of their kit and wells are from the Soviet era, and need replacing.

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Two steps forward...

      NATO have long been pumping up the rhetoric against Russia, particularly over Ukraine. Their ambition to see Syria taken out of Russia's sphere of influence and the movement of military forces ever closer to Russian borders won't have gone unnoticed.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Two steps forward...

        I think the "rhetoric" against Russia might have something to do with their annexation of Crimea and active support by Moscow for separatists in the eastern Ukraine. Plus a downed Malaysian airliner can't have helped.

        Pragmatism might explain why we've mostly shouted rather than done anything beyond sanctions.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Two steps forward...

          I think Crimea is understandable, looking at recent history/

          But the rest of it well what can the West do?

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: Two steps forward...

            "I think Crimea is understandable, looking at recent history"

            You mean that the world generally ignoring Israel's illegal occupations meant Russia thought they could get away with it too?

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Two steps forward...

              No I am thinking of the Ukrainian Soviet leader who gave Ukrain Crimea.

              So I understand why Russia wanted it back.

              No Israelis there.

              Middle East has been a total screw up since the demise of the Ottoman Empire

              1. Mike Richards Silver badge

                Re: Two steps forward...

                'Middle East has been a total screw up since the demise of the Ottoman Empire'

                Some would say since Moses got chatty with a bit of shrubbery, but I take your point.

                1. Esme
                  Happy

                  Re: Two steps forward...

                  @Mike Richards -

                  "'Middle East has been a total screw up since the demise of the Ottoman Empire'

                  Some would say since Moses got chatty with a bit of shrubbery, but I take your point."

                  - I nearly inhaled some tea reading that. Love that turn of phrase, whcih I am duly nicking, ta, very!

              2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

                Re: Two steps forward...

                >So I understand why Russia wanted it back.

                Part of the deal where Ukraine destroyed its nuclear arsenal was that Russia would both respect and protect its borders. I.e. Recently Russia fully accepted that Crimea was Ukrainian.

              3. TheVogon Silver badge

                Re: Two steps forward...

                "No I am thinking of the Ukrainian Soviet leader who gave Ukrain Crimea."

                It was given to Ukraine by the Presidium - which is a council of leaders, not by just the head of state at the time Kliment Voroshilov.

                "Middle East has been a total screw up since the demise of the Ottoman Empire"

                I think you mean since the demise of the British Empire....

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Stop

                  Re: TheVogon Re: Two steps forward...

                  ".....I think you mean since the demise of the British Empire...." The Middle East has been screwed for centuries, regardless of the British Empire. The bizarre baaaahlief that all was rosy in the area until Britain took an interest simply doesn't stack up with historical fact. Even under the Ottoman Empire there was plenty of bloodshed, such as the Armenian genocide, and Arab nationalism kickstarted anti-Semitism in the Ottoman Empire long before Britain got involved (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_the_Ottoman_Empire#Antisemitism). Britain (and France) just inherited the results of thousands of years of ethnic strife in the region.

      2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: Two steps forward...

        Seems our elites have only one tool in the toolbag: Encyst (encircling) problem children (other governments and elites) who won't behave (submit). Russia for the last century, now add China with the U.S. "Asian Pivot."

        SSDD squared.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Two steps forward...

      It's all about appearances rather than outcomes: "don't worry that you haven't got enough to eat, look at our lovely missiles and don't forget to vote for me". Russia doesn't want war with anyone with real weapons: remember the plane shot down over the Turkey-Syria border?

      More interesting will be whether Russia has managed to replace the electronics that the Ukrainians used to develop for it.

      Long term all the weapons tech in the world probably won't do it much good once conflict really starts in the Caucuses and the *Stans. And it's doing a bloody good job of stoking this. :-/

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two steps forward...

      What has changed to make the outcome different?

      I guess they are no longer interested in winning an all-out confrontation with the rest of the world - only in making the cost of a direct military intervention suicidal for an invader (or as a matter of fact, for both participating sides and most of the innocent bystanders). This, of course, requires a credible strike-back capability.

      It may, of course, bankrupt them again. On the other hand, Russian national debt is less than US$1K per capita (just about), or a bit under 15% of GDP. The corresponding figure for US is over $59K per capita (106% GDP). UK is over US$35K per capita (83% GDP), and Canada is around $22K per capita (56% GDP; however, neither figure includes provincial debt - which would add about as much again).

      At the same time, Russia spends about 4.1 to 5.4% GDP on its military. US is at 3.3 to 3.9%, not that much lower per capita cost despite its much bigger economy. UK and Canada are actually at a much more sensible 2% and 0.9% - although I doubt either country actually needs to spend even that much.

      Overall, I would say that out-of-control military spending and runaway borrowing by the US is a much bigger threat to the rest of the world than anything Putin would ever manage to do.

      References:

      http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/#countries

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Two steps forward...

        Re. debt: those figures are gross government debt, so don't take into account outstanding loans given to other countries, which clouds things a little.

        For example if Sweden has borrowed $10 and lent out $5 to Nicaragua, the figures will show Sweden is in $10 in debt and total debt is $15. In balance, both Sweden and Nicaragua are actually $5 in the hole.

      2. Anonymous Vulture
        Boffin

        Re: Two steps forward...

        I rarely comment against AC, but I have to jump in here.

        Your statements are 95% correct in fact, ignoring the slight deltas in numbers which I attribute to your sources.

        Unfortunately your conclusions ignore recent history. Russia defaulted on her debt in 1998 when inflation hit 84% and she appealed for international aid, including emergency food aid. This led to a crisis in government which resulted in the eventual resignation of President Yeltsin and the rapid rise of Vladimir Putin from Deputy Prime Minister to President where he has essentially remained since. Yes, I am hand waving the power swap between his second and third terms as President that took place with Dmitry Medvedev. Its easy to look good on paper when you wrote off every foreign debt in one fell swoop less than twenty years ago.

        I agree that military spending is a threat to world peace, since you cannot justify the expenditures without using the new military toys a bit, which in turn leads to additional military spending, which leads to, which leads to, which leads to. That issue applies to the world as a whole, since no government can seem to avoid testing the latest military toy, be it a rifle, tank or aircraft. Thankfully we have well documented agreements for testing the subject of the article, at least sans warhead.

        Where Russia and the United States differ is the US, at least under the most recent administration, lurches from good intentioned intervention that gets messy (see Libya), to cleaning up the previous administrations mess (Iraq and Afghanistan), to another good intentioned intervention that turns into a mess (see Syria). Russia on the other hand seizes territory for strategic advantage and to distract citizens from an economy devastated by the recent drop in oil prices. Neither is ideal, but I would rather work with the good intentioned neighbor than the calculating malicious one.

        Finally, the market disagrees with you with the threat posed by borrowing. US 10 Year Treasuries are yielding just about 1.76%, while Russian Federation 10 year bonds are yielding just over 8.8%.

        All told, I would much rather work with the US, at least until the body politic loses its mind entirely, yields to the lure of bread and circuses, and elects Donald Trump. Then all bets are off and I refuse to offer odds on the insanity that follows.

    6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Two steps forward...

      What has changed to make the outcome different?

      No more tit-for-tat competition. Old USSR bankrupted itself trying to do what USA did - Shuttle program (Buran), gas turbine driven main battle tank (T82), etc - all these projects were a disaster financially and technically.

      Putin's Russia has no such intention. It has concentrated on what Russians do best - simple engineering and evolutionary changes instead of gigantic technological step changes.

      Examples: T-92 (and the new tank prototype shown 9th of May last year), a full range of new fighting infantry vehicles designed mostly for warfare against militants and based on observing the NATO clusterf*** in Afganistan and Iraq, AA missiles, sub-orbital trajectory ballistic missiles (Bulava), upgrades to the avionics and weapons of anything and everything - Su-24, Su-25, evolutionary (instead of a Raptor/F35 like big bang) step changes from Su-27 to PAKFA, etc.

      All of these programs are relatively cheap. They are pocket change compared to some of the money floating around Russia nowdays (even with all the embargos and downturn).

      They also have reduced the size of their active "combat deployable in a few hours" army and nuclear deterrent. It is much smaller than it was, but it is now really deployable and it got fangs and claws (that is not my personal opinion by the way - it is Jane's Defense analysis of Syria's "holiday"). It is also still more than sufficient to wipe out half of the planet so why really bother for more?.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Two steps forward...

        Meanwhile, at the "Pivot to Asia":

        US Pivot to Asia Poised to Enter Nuclear Phase

        Hmm... US to deploy first-strike-capable tactical nuclear weapons in the Pacific Theatre. What could go wrong?

        We need an icon for "warming"

        1. Anonymous Blowhard
          Mushroom

          Re: Two steps forward...

          We need an icon for "warming"

          Here it is --->

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two steps forward...

      the economies haven't changed (arguably the state of Rusia's is worse than the Soviet Union's), but the West, never keen to enter into a real nuclear exchange, is so much less keen now. The Russians know it, which makes they more... keen.

      In theory, stepping down the "keen factor" would entice the other side to do likewise, but this doesn't take into account Russian mindset which revolves around posturing and showing who's got bigger balls. Speak quietly and carry a large stick, yes, but who cares about the stick if you know the head above the stick goes into BSD mode on a mere thought it might HAVE TO use this stick. PANIC, PANIC! Russians know this, and use it very well to their advantage.

      1. JustNiz

        Re: Two steps forward...

        >> Russians know this, and use it very well to their advantage.

        Seems to be exactly the North Korean approach too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Two steps forward...

          >Seems to be exactly the North Korean approach too.

          When the Kim family finally does have their Ceaușescu like reckoning they better hope most of the people haven't learned yet just how much richer the South actually is.

    8. Chemical Bob

      Re: Two steps forward...

      "What has changed to make the outcome different?"

      Perhaps Putin is compensating for something.

    9. Scorchio!!
      Unhappy

      Re: Two steps forward...

      "The relative size of the various players' economies have not changed in Russia's favor. What has changed to make the outcome different?"

      The madness of a Kleptocrat?

    10. dlc.usa
      Boffin

      What has changed to make the outcome different?

      Perhaps the ratios of debt to GDP?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonderful

    Doesn't it give one a warm happy glow; how the human race has progressed from chucking rocks at each other to this (and it's US/Chinese/French/British/Israeli/Pakistani and Indian brothers)?

    Now we can presumably spend our own money to a) build better anti-hypersonic-missile-missiles, and b) build our own anti-hypersonic-missile-missile-proof-missile.

    But I guess as we have sorted out cancer, poverty, global warming and conventional war, there's nothing better to do.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Wonderful

      @AC

      On a slightly more positive note we dont seem much country to country war any more. Granted the EU sparked a war in Ukraine where the Russians annexed land they loaned to Ukraine but even that had to be through subversive methods. The all out country vs country has gone from the developed world.

      Such stability could be a factor on our developments against cancer, poverty, global warming and as above- conventional war. The problem with solving conventional war is the reliance on unconventional war which we are still feeling our way through.

      And decommissioned nukes can be used for energy production. We will probably be grateful for nukes if NK figure out how to make them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wonderful

        Oh yes, those war-mongering Brussels bureaucrats! I quite like the 'loaned to' school of historical revisionism though. I look forward to the UK getting back the colonies we loaned to the USA, shortly before Rome asks for it's northern outpost back.

        1. PAW

          Re: Wonderful

          Oh you mean the Make America Great Britain Again campaign.

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Wonderful

          @AC

          "Oh yes, those war-mongering Brussels bureaucrats!"

          It might not have been their intention to cause the war but I have yet to hear any other reason beyond Putin wanting to re-establish the USSR, which I am sure was bigger than just the Crimea. You may not like that the EU (the bringer of peace, and yes I am laughing as I say that) triggered the war and at no point does that apologise for Russia doing what it did at all (looking @Charlie Clark).

          What revised history do you guys have for Russia invading to annex just the portion it needs to stay military relevant as the EU tries to persuade Ukraine to become part of the EU but runs away when Russia reacts?

          I will say @Charlie Clark I do agree with- Had the new nukes still been stationed in Ukraine, Putin might have thought twice about his "little green men". That is actually the point I was making.

      2. MR J

        Re: Wonderful

        We see war every day, modern wars do not use tanks or bombs.

        Now we use "Business", "Financial", and "Trade" restrictions to wage most of the wars.

        Why has the US opened Cuba back up?... It is because none of those restrictions have worked, so we are looking for a place to put hotels and McDonalds. The US claims they invented everything from the English Language to Apple Pie. They to this day keep some of these claims not because they are first, but because so much research and documentation behind science and industry is locked up behind American PayWalls.

        The war is going strong, you just didn't know you were part of it.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Wonderful

          If NATO deploys into Ukraine, the "loaned area" might well extend up to Kiev all of a sudden.

          You just don't fuck around with the military interest and need of strategic leeway of an ex-super-centralized state that doesn't particularly trust you, then play nonchalant while letting your generals pump aggressive messages into the aether and having the press/TV (clearly heavily freedomized if not dogwaggified) issue incendiary commentary.

          Funny how these things always happen during Olympic Games, too.

          1. Notas Badoff

            Re: Wonderful

            @DAM "Funny how these things always happen during Olympic Games, too."

            Check the notes again. Unfolded just *after* the Olympic Games, when Russia no longer needed to 'pretend' it was a modern forward-thinking freedom-loving non-ursine. Can't be shooting down passenger jets before they've arrived at Sochi, right?

        2. PaulFrederick

          Re: Wonderful

          We did not invent the English language but we certainly developed the C programming language. Just about everything else inside your computer too.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wonderful

            Call me naive, but I thought Kernighan and Richie invented C? I.e two individuals.

            Actually, a lot of computer science comes straight from the UK. The Americans got hold of it to be able to help out during the war. There's a lot of cross-pollination going on all over the world, so I'm a bit sick of the whole "we are so great, we did this and that"-thing.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Wonderful

        Granted the EU sparked a war in Ukraine where the Russians annexed land they loaned to Ukraine

        Don't you just love Russian-apologist revisionism? Even if Kruschev's donation of Crimea to Ukraine was a bit of harmless fun back in the day, it became permanent with the fall of the Soviet Union with Russia agreeing to accept Ukraine's borders in return for Ukraine returning the nuclear weapons stationed there. Had the new nukes still been stationed in Ukraine, Putin might have thought twice about his "little green men".

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Wonderful

          @ Charlie. Bearing in mind that Chernobyl is in Ukraine, if they had kept their share of the nukes I'm not too sure they would have been much of a threat by 2014.

      4. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Wonderful

        "the Russians annexed land they loaned to Ukraine"

        It was given, not loaned:

        "the transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to the UkrSSR was carried out in accordance with the 1936 Soviet constitution, which in Article 18 stipulated that “the territory of a Union Republic may not be altered without its consent.” The proceedings of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium meeting indicate that both the RSFSR and the UkrSSR had given their consent via their republic parliaments."

        "the Russian Federation expressly accepted Ukraine’s 1991 borders both in the December 1991 Belovezhskaya Pushcha accords (the agreements that precipitated and codified the dissolution of the Soviet Union) and in the December 1994 Budapest Memorandum"

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Wonderful

          @ TheVogon

          "It was given, not loaned:"

          Ok my bad. But the rest still stands.

  4. Angus Wood

    The RS-28 boasts "an array of advanced antimissile countermeasures"

    If I recall correctly, this includes the very neat idea of cloaking the missile in a continuously-generated opaque gas shield to defend against directed-energy weapons.

    1. The First Dave

      Re: The RS-28 boasts "an array of advanced antimissile countermeasures"

      That's going to take a shed-load of gas, particularly at high speed in the upper-atmosphere

  5. Alister Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    "capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France", Zvezda cheerfully explains.

    Interesting, both Texas and France have a city named Paris, I believe.

    Icon: well what else?

    1. Matthew Smith

      There is also a Cardiff, London, Manchester, Dublin and Edinburg in Texas.

      Can't find a Birmingham though.

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Birmingham

        Is in Alabama though... just down the coast ;-)

        1. Dadmin
          Happy

          Re: Birmingham

          Agreed! If you're planning a trip to the US, please avoid Alabama and all the surrounding states; it's just assholes with a weird flag, guns, bibles, and more guns. Also, it's filled with assholes. Did I mention their guns?

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Dadmin Re: Birmingham

            "....assholes...guns....bibles...." Really? I quite liked Alabama when I passed through, the people seemed a damn sight friendlier than in those bastions of liberalness like New York or Chicago (which both have much, much higher levels of guncrime). Per chance, are you posting from one of said liberal "wonderlands"?

          2. PaulFrederick

            Re: Birmingham

            if you're not an asshole their guns should not be an issue. Or can't you help yourself?

      2. JustNiz

        Not surprised. Who'd want another Birmingham?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "There is also a Cardiff, London, Manchester, Dublin and Edinburg in Texas."

        Hope no one uses Google Maps to target places. They only seem to give one answer to a query for latitude/longitude - even though that may be the "wrong" place. Why can't they give a collection as an answer to indicate ambiguity and allow a chance of a resolution.

        Germany seems fond of same name places which sometimes have an after-thought of a qualifier of the nearby river.

        England has the obvious ambiguities like the many Newcastles or Whitwells - but at least two Broughtons was unexpected. There was a time when the ancient county names rolled off the tongue - but those are no longer in everyday use even where they haven't been renamed.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          "Hope no one uses Google Maps to target places. They only seem to give one answer to a query for latitude/longitude - even though that may be the "wrong" place. Why can't they give a collection as an answer to indicate ambiguity and allow a chance of a resolution."

          That's one of the reasons why I switched to HERE maps.

        2. DropBear Silver badge

          "Hope no one uses Google Maps to target places. They only seem to give one answer to a query for latitude/longitude - even though that may be the "wrong" place. Why can't they give a collection as an answer to indicate ambiguity and allow a chance of a resolution."

          You can always use OpenStreetMap instead - if there's a bus station called "Cardiff" it'll list that too somewhere at the bottom... ;)

    2. Chemical Bob

      Texas even has the Elysian Fields. I wish I was making this up.

      https://www.mapquest.com/us/tx/elysian-fields-282923401

    3. ian 22
      Happy

      I was wondering why the Russians were threatening Texas and France. Texas I can understand, but France?

  6. Rich 11 Silver badge

    NATO code name: Carter (Unstoppable Supersonic Missile)

    The allegedly unstoppable missile is "capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France", Zvezda cheerfully explains.

    Choices, choices...

  7. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    It sounds like a huge step back in the quest for world peace...

    ...but watching what's happening in the US election race, and the potential scenario of Trump as president, I can't say I blame them

    1. Dadmin

      Re: It sounds like a huge step back in the quest for world peace...

      Me too, and I live here! If Tramp is the pres, please feel free to nuke us (US) back to the stoned ages, and we'll try this again, but this time with some zaz!

      1. PaulFrederick

        Re: It sounds like a huge step back in the quest for world peace...

        if you hate the USA so much leave. Do not tell anyone to attack the country though. Would you like their souls on your conscience? Because we will wipe whoever attacks us out for trying.

      2. x 7 Silver badge

        Re: It sounds like a huge step back in the quest for world peace...

        "back to the stoned ages,"

        bloody hippies

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: It sounds like a huge step back in the quest for world peace...

      Something that can pin-point-target Trump, perhaps by locking on to his hairdo, would be a better solution.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not solid

    Interesting that they've gone for a liquid-fueled motor rather than solid, not withstanding the greater efficiency and controllability of liquid-fueled motors.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Not solid

      It makes sense - they've got years of experience of the tech. It even serves for peaceful purposes too: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/15/esa_sentinel_launch/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not solid

      You can stop and re-light a liquid fuelled engine. On an ICBM that means you can make it difficult to predict where the thing is headed. This in turn makes it very difficult to intercept during the sub orbital cruise phase.

      To intercept it with your own missile you have to be reasonably sure of its course and speed to give yours a chance of getting into the right part of the sky at the right time. However this thing can speed up and change course. Give it an on board ESM capability and it can make up its own mind for when to do this too.

      I don't actually know whether this is their actual intent, but it all follows through reasonably logically. Certainly it's an operational capability that would justify the development nausea that results from building a liquid fuelled ICBM.

      It's also quite ironic. Blue Streak, the UK's rocket ICBM development programme way back in the 1950s, 1960s was cancelled because the liquid fuelled design they were pursuing couldn't be kept fuelled up ready to launch. That meant it had to be fuelled before launch, which takes longer than the 4 minutes warning available from surveillance radar, etc. That would have meant having silos capable of withstanding a first strike, for which the UK has very little appropriate rock (we're mostly mud...). So the whole Blue Streak idea was considered redundant. We eventually gave it to the French as a bribe to let us join what's now the EU, but they said "Merci, pizzouf" and turned it into Ariane (only the world's most successful launcher). Ruddy typical. However if the Blue Streak guys had rummaged around their chemistry books and thought of the mixture the Russians are now using, Blue Streak could have been something like the new Russian design but 50 years earlier... Same goes for the US's Atlas, Titan, etc.

    3. IvyKing
      Mushroom

      Re: Not solid

      Another reason is that the IR signature for UDMH/N2O4 is much lower than for the usual aluminum and ammonia perchlorate solid fuel mix. The IR signature is also less than the RP1/LOX mixture but greater than LH2/LOX.

      FWIW, the Titan II was fueled by UDMH/N2O4, but there were a few nasty accidents involving fuel leaks.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Advice

    If they can send one missile to Texas, why can't they send all their missiles to Texas?

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: Advice

      or france.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Advice

        Or Britain.......

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Advice

      Fairly simple

      Because NATO would send all their missiles to Russia, thus leading to the great question of Thermo-nuclear warfare

      Exactly which smoking patch of irradiated land is the winner....

    3. Chemical Bob

      Re: why can't they send all their missiles to Texas

      But where would all the poor patent trolls go to sue all the Useful People?

  10. Ralph B

    The Trump Effect

    Faced with the possibility of a President Trump one can hardly blame the Ruskies for wanting to keep their deterrent delivery systems up-to-date.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The Trump Effect

      Apart from the apparent love-fest between Putin and Trump. Reminds me of Berlusconi and Putin. Of course, if Trump does get elected, he'll do pretty much exactly what the banks and big business tell him to.

  11. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    LOL!

    So, it uses the existing launch silos that NATO have already mapped out and have targeted? And it needs a nice, long, pre-launch fuel-up with liquid fuel, meaning it can be targeted in its silo long before it is ready to be fired? And it's so big and expensive to make that Pootie can only make so many with his crumbling economy?

    Pootie has a similar fixation with "big is best" as Hitler had. He should have read some Cold War history and realised what really scared NATO was mobile and quick-response ICBMs like the SS-25/27.

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: LOL!

      The point about the propellants is that they can be stored in the missile, unlike the cryogenics. The last time I saw rockets on the pad, I didn't know enough to be scared, but they were on exposed launch pads and using liquid oxygen, and the RAF wouldn't have done that unless it expected to use them. They were horribly vulnerable to blast.

      So was I.

      1. ridley

        Re: LOL!

        Mmm, yes and that was the theory with the liquid propellants in the torpedo's

        On the Kursk and that didn't end too all if I remember correctly.

        I can't help thinking that solid propellants like in polaris and trident are better for long term storage.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: LOL!

        "The point about the propellants is that they can be stored in the missile, unlike the cryogenics"

        I may be wrong about this, but aren't there missiles using packaged UDMH/RFNA with a 5 year shelf life?

        "Mmm, yes and that was the theory with the liquid propellants in the torpedo's"

        That is hydrogen peroxide, which is a single-component propellant. It was very popular in UK rocketry, but somehow we got away with it. In a submarine, it isn't really practical to flood malfunctioning peroxide with large amounts of water. Well, not more than once, anyway.

  12. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    How many?

    How many will be built? Wouldn't one launch pretty much turn into one big circle jerk?

    All you guys with nukes, form a circle... it's your last chance for a happy ending...

  13. BurnT'offering

    Good work, chaps

    But I think it's time to put your toys away

  14. zen1

    for christs sake, just whip em out and measure them already and quit holding the innocent citizens of the US and Russia (as well as everywhere else) hostage!

  15. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Does it have a NATO codename yet?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Texas and France...

    PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Son of Satan...

    or as we in NATO call it, 'The TONY BLAIR'

  18. Brian Miller
    IT Angle

    But what processor?

    But what's the gear on the missile? We need to know! After all, they may be using the Allwinner kernel. Wouldn't it be fun to root a missile in flight?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: But what processor?

      Rasberry Pi! Navigation by Google Earth and Google Maps.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But what processor?

      and have they factored in the time for Windows to automatically insist on installing updates just at the critical moment?

  19. harmjschoonhoven
    Flame

    Fuel

    So the RD-274 and assumably also the RS-28s will use almost the same nasty fuels as the Amercan Titan II. - Read Command and Control by Eric Schlosser.

  20. hellwig Silver badge

    Meanwhile...

    ...the US is making great strides in funding future Russian missile programs through our own ineptitude and almost comical dependence on Russian engines.

    ...SpaceX has landed TWO rockets now, so yay! Those will be quite handy after the Chinese shoot the ISS out of the sky, I'm sure.

    ...I'm still waiting for Blue Origin to reach an altitude of relevance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile...

      ...the US is making great strides in funding future Russian missile programs through our own ineptitude and almost comical dependence on Russian engines.

      Don't worry: you are also making great leaps forward in funding Chinese missile (and carrier, and fighter, and electronic warfare) programs through your own ineptitude and clearly comical dependence on Chinese manufacturing capability for pretty much anything and everything you consume.

      I always thought that in the Asimov's Foundation series, America was the Foundation. Now I am not so sure: perhaps it is the old Galactic Empire after all, and China is the Foundation.

  21. TimeMaster T
    Mushroom

    So ...

    Putin wants a bigger missile.

    Why does the word "compensating" come to mind?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: So ...

      I think you and I posted that at about the same time (which is why I missed it when I added my previous comment)

      "great minds" and all that

  22. bombastic bob Silver badge

    Pootie misses the cold war

    Looks like Pootie simply misses the cold war. He "felt" more powerful back then. This new missile is his 'compensation' for... well... heh heh heh.

  23. smartypants

    Rebadged

    News sources claim that Nato has updated Putin's codename to Nuky McNukeface

    1. Breen Whitman

      Re: Rebadged

      US: 1027 tests.

      Russia: 932 tests.

      So really that name belongs to America.

      Obomba mcSootyface?

  24. Aikiman

    What have we become?

    While I struggle to keep me and my family alive making sure my children are happy and well looked after, leaders of this world are planning to destroy it and turn paradise into hell. Why do we let these people in power for? They have got it all wrong . When looking at the world like this it's easy to see how God is waging war against Satan.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What have we become?

      "Why do we let these people in power for?"

      Because we are a cooperative hierarchical animal. The tribal mindset is always rearing its head in a "them or us" conflict - even if only posturing. The eponymous "Utopia" was postulated as a place where everyone knew their birth rank - and stayed put.

      It is an old adage that the people who want power are the last ones who should be allowed to have it. They fall into two camps. 1) Those who are insecure and need to have total control of their environment to quell their inner demons. 2) Those whose hubris borders on being psychopathic.

  25. Breen Whitman

    The earth's diameter is 12742 km, so the missile could reach nearly everywhere just about.so the 10000 km range is significant. US is 8800 km away and Australia, a US lapdog, is 9977kms away so that would definately need to be hit if the balloon went up.

    Not withstanding Oz is a major source of uranium.

    It would unfortunately not stop the most horrific product of Australia. ...Foster's beer. As that's made globally now:(

    1. moiety

      ...maybe we can chip in to get the other 2742 miles covered...

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      " Australia, a US lapdog, is 9977kms away so that would definately need to be hit if the balloon went up."

      Yeah but are you sure they'd even notice? It's a place where everything is already trying to kill you - is a radscorpion really that much worse than a normal one...? Now at least they would glow in the dark even without a UV light...

  26. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alien

    Hey, you, nuclear superpowers!

    Can you guys take all this shit off-planet, please?

    The rest of us aren't interested in your posturing and dick waving.

    1. DocJames
      Alien

      Re: Hey, you, nuclear superpowers!

      Hell no, don't give them ideas. The last thing we want is space to be weaponised. There's more than enough to fight over down here (excluding Antarctica, another area where global cooperation has prevented militarisation) without expanding this fight as far as humanly possible.

      OTOH, I concur wholeheartedly with your final statement.

  27. yet_another_wumpus

    Speed of missiles? Suborbital flights are typically set by how far they go. Note you *can* make the missile come down that much faster, but you equally warn the victim that much earlier that you are blowing a corner of his country off the map, so it is rarely done (and would typically require an equal boast about an ability to target areas even farther south than Texas).

    I strongly suspect that the rest of the boast is equally absurd. Takeaway: Russia has missiles, just as they have since the mid-1950s. If the missiles launch, the USA and Russia will more or less cease to exist and the resulting economic and ecological damage will likely collapse the nations of anyone not already glowing. And "blowing up Texas"? Are they claiming to be able to launch (and MIRV) the "Tsar Bomba"? I think that even Pravda would have trouble with that one. Better cut off the propagandist's vodka supply.

    Reagan's Star Wars ideas are even more futile than George Lucas's (although it might not be such a bad idea to circle North Korea with counter missiles that hit things on the way up. You just need agreements with China to cover the Northern boarder as well).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All Russia is doing is ensuring that their missiles are going to be able to get through the USA's deployed anti missile system to maintain the balance of terror.

      Frankly, if I were planning on nuking a country then instead of deploying my weapons via missle which leaves an trail the entire world can track back to the launch point i'd deploy my weapons via shipping crates and airmail on timers. <BOOM> Targets badly hit, assuming that the planes and ships keep to their scheduled routes and timetables.

      Then there is no immediate target to nuke in retaliation. After painstaking investigation does trace the weapons to a particular country that country is of course "shocked" and "horrified" to discover that their weapons handling proceedures were lax enough to let a group of well known terrorists to acquire a bunch of weapons by bribing the staff looking after them and plan a shocking attack. Of course, we deplore this shocking atrocity etc etc etc, but if you were to nuke us then we will of course have to conduct a full retaliatory response etc etc etc. Would they then get nuked? Probably not, though they would probably get sanctioned quite massively.

      I submit that while more probably the plot of a bad book, this is how you'd go about nuking somebody. It's not going to be done via launching an ICBM at somebody, sabre rattling from North Korea to stay on the international agenda instead of being totally ignored notwithstanding. Anti missile defences are therefore pretty pointless both politicially and militarily, and just encourage stockpiling more and nastier missiles.

      1. x 7 Silver badge

        "Frankly, if I were planning on nuking a country then instead of deploying my weapons via missle which leaves an trail the entire world can track back to the launch point i'd deploy my weapons via shipping crates and airmail on timers2

        there are radiation detectors at most ports in the USA and Europe

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          "there are radiation detectors at most ports in the USA and Europe"

          And researchers have pointed out that they really don't work that well against a sophisticated attacker.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like Russia still live in the 1970s.

    Putin, please die from a heart attack ASAP.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Angel

    Condiments

    Can some one pass the SALT please?

  30. david 136

    Obsolete 30 years ago

    Why in the world would they make new liquid fueled ICBMs? The US phased out Titan IIs ending in 1987, and they were really obsolete and worthless at that point. This is clearly a dick-swinging operation, not a rational response to anything.

    1. x 7 Silver badge

      Re: Obsolete 30 years ago

      "Why in the world would they make new liquid fueled ICBMs?"

      because they have the plant and handling skills to make it, but don't have much in the way of solid fuel technology. As someone else has already pointed out, the motors are simply an extension of their existing reliable technology

  31. oneguycoding

    Ronnie

    Thanks Raygun

  32. x 7 Silver badge

    bloody commies

    we should nuke the bastards.

    get our retaliation in first before they can fire the things at us

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      "bloody commies"

      The Russian communist party is the anti-Putin bit. He's supported by the nationalists and the Russian Orthodox Church - basically the constituency which would be voting Republican in the US. And if Putin goes, they'll probably put someone much worse in his place.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WHy only Texas or France, why not Saudi Arabia? Such discrimination!

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