Russian state media outlets have offered unprecedented looks at the payload bus for the R-36M2 intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, where the weapon’s nuclear warheads are housed. Also known as the SS-18 Mod 5 Satan in the West, this missile has a so-called multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle, or MIRV, configuration and has one of the heaviest payloads of any ICBM ever developed and fielded.
Dmitry Kornev, a Russian military expert who runs the blog Military Russia, recently posted stills showing the R-36M2 payload bus on Twitter that were captured from video clips broadcast on the state-run television stations Russia-24 and TV Zvezda. The latter of these is the official television station of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Kornev indicated that the footage has been shown after the first full-scale launch of the RS-28 Sarmat ICBM in April 2022. The RS-28 is expected to eventually replace the R-36M2 in Russian service.
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