Putin Has Touted An Invincible Nuclear Weapon That Really Exists - Here's How It Works And Why It Deeply Worries Experts

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During a speech on Thursday, Russian president Vladimir Putin showed test footage of a new intercontinental ballistic missile.

The nuclear weapon, called the RS-28 Sarmat or Satan 2, has been in development since 2009.

Putin claimed the ICBM isĀ "invincible" to missile defense systems.

He also presented animations of several other weapons, including what some call a "doomsday" drone submarine.

During Vladimir Putin's annual speech on Thursday, the Russian president played videos that unveiled brand-new nuclear weapons with startling capabilities.

Putin announced an "unstoppable" nuclear-powered "global cruise missile" that has "practically unlimited" range, then showed an animation of the device bobbing and weaving around the globe. He also played a computer animation of a high-speed, nuke-armed submarine drone blowing up ships and coastal targets.

"Russia remained and remains the largest nuclear power. Do not forget, no one really wanted to talk to us. Nobody listened to us," Putin told a crowd in Moscow, according to a translation by Sputnik, a Russian-government-controlled news agency. "Listen now."

David Wright, a physicist and missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Business Insider that the idea of an "unstoppable" cruise missile going around the world without being detected is "fiction," since it'd heat up to an extreme degree. (CNN also reported that all tests of the cruise missile ended in crashes.)

But he said that at least one device Putin showed off likely does exist.

"We know they're developing some new systems with a longer range and a larger payload," Wright said.

The known weapon is called the RS-28 Sarmat, though NATO refers to it as the SS-X-30 Satan 2. Russia has been developing it since at least 2009.

Putin showed a video of the Satan 2 during his speech. In it, footage shows an intercontinental ballistic missile launching out of a silo, followed by an animation of it rocketing toward space. The video-game-like graphic follows the ICBM as it sails over a faux Earth in a high arc and opens its nosecone to reveal five nuclear warheads.

Putin claimed this 119-foot-tall missile is "invincible" to missile defense systems.

What makes ICBMs so threatening

Russia's liquid-fueled RS-28 Sarmat, or the "Satan 2."@DoctorNoFI via Twitter

Intercontinental ballistic missiles are similar to rockets that shoot satellites and people into orbit, but ICBMs carry warheads and hit targets on Earth.

The missiles travel in a wide arc over Earth, enabling them to strike halfway around the world within an hour. (North Korea recently launched its new ICBM in a high, compact arc to avoid rocketing it over US allies.)

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