World

Putin's Missile Could Hit West Coast In 12 Minutes

| by Lauren Briggs

The Kremlin successfully tested a supersonic missile that could hit the West Coast of the U.S. in 12 minutes, Russian missile experts announced.

The so-called Object 4202 rocket reportedly moves so quickly -- up to 4,000 miles per hour or 4.3 miles per second -- that it is nearly impossible for NATO forces to defend against, and it has a cloaking device shielding it from radar detection, notes the Daily Mail.

It is equipped to transport three RS-28 Sarmat super-nuclear weapons, more commonly called Satan 2, which Russia's Tactical Missiles Corporation said would make the Hiroshima nuclear explosions look like "popguns" in comparison.

Each Satan 2 weapon reportedly holds 16 nuclear warheads, or 40 megatons worth, and can decimate a region the size of France or Texas, reported Zvezda, the Russian news network owned by the country's ministry of defense, according to the Daily Mail.

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"Not only are they too fast, but they have got rid of the predictable flight path," Igor Sutyagin, an expert in Russian nuclear capability at the Royal United Services Institute in London, told the Daily Mail. "It maneuvers all the way so it is terribly difficult for any missile defense system to shoot it down."

The weapon has a range of 6,213 miles, which would allow it to reach America's east and west coasts, as well as just about anywhere in Europe.

Sutyagin said Russia's existing SS-18 missiles, which were created in 1988, have passed their "sell by date." They were designed in what is now the Ukraine, making it difficult for Russia to rely on the now-independent country to service and maintain them.

"Even if you had the warmest relations in the world with NATO you would want to update your missiles," he explained. "But Putin of course is happy for it to be portrayed as an aggressive move. He wants to stress his unpredictability and his importance."

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Putin has said he hopes to improve relations between the U.S. and Russia since Donald Trump won the presidential election and sent Trump a congratulatory message on Nov. 9, in which he expressed hopes for "a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington on the principles of equality, mutual respect and real consideration for each other's position," notes NBC News.

Sources: Daily Mail, NBC News / Photo Credit: Kremlin