Russia tested its SARMAT intercontinental ballistic missile, dubbed "Satan II" by the West and capable of delivering multiple nuclear warheads, at around the same time President Joe Biden was visiting Ukraine on Monday, but the launch appears to have failed, according to two officials from the United States said to be familiar with the matter.
One official told CNN that Russia had notified the United States about the launch through its deconfliction lines, while the other said the United States was not put at risk by the test, and it was not viewed as either an escalation or an anomaly.
The heavy missile had been tested before, and if this test had been successful, it is believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would have mentioned it in his State of the National address Tuesday, but no mention was made of the test launch.
However, he said in his speech, which went on for almost two hours, that Russia is suspending its part in the New START nuclear treaty with the United States.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that U.S. officials notified the Russians on Sunday about Biden's visit to Kyiv.
Putin has announced other successful ICBM test launches including last April, when it also tested the SARMAT missile, saying at the time that the ICBM would "give thought to those who are trying to threaten Russia.
The missile, unveiled in 2016, can reportedly carry a 10-ton payload comprising up to 15 nuclear warheads and has a range exceeding 6,835 miles. It has been designed to succeed the R-36M Voevoda ICBM, reports CNN.
The 2022 test was "routine, and it was not a surprise," then-Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.
The news comes a week after Russian fighters and bombers neared airspace over Alaska twice in two days, forcing NORAD to respond. The Russian planes stayed outside U.S. and Canada's sovereign air space, which reaches 12 miles past the coast, but flew in or near Alaska's Air Defense Identification Zone, reaching up to 200 miles away from the coastline.
The Russian flights were not viewed as being a threat or provocative, and were not believed to be related to the aerial objects seen and shot down around Alaska and Canada, NORAD stressed.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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