In this article, we will explore the top 10 effective range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in the world. These missiles possess immense power and strategic importance, highlighting the significance of maintaining global security. It is crucial to understand that absolute safety remains an elusive concept despite technological advancements. Let’s delve into the rankings and capabilities of these ICBMs.
1. Russian R-36M (SS-18) “Satan”
The Russian R-36M (SS-18) “Satan” claims the first place in our rankings. Fueled by a two-stage liquid rocket engine, it boasts the longest range among all ICBMs at an impressive 16,000 kilometers. The R-36M (SS-18) has established itself as a formidable force in the realm of strategic missile systems.
2. China Dongfeng-41 (DF-41)
Securing the second spot is the China Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) ballistic missile. Its three-stage solid-fuel rocket empowers it with a maximum range of approximately 11,000 kilometers. Notably, the DF-41 possesses maneuverability on roads and exhibits field capabilities. Equipped with a computer-controlled inertial guidance system, it ensures improved accuracy when striking targets.
3. Russian R-29RMU “Light Boat.”
The Russian R-29RMU “Light Boat” claims the third position on our list. This third-generation submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is integrated with the “Delta IV” class submarines of the Russian Navy. It has demonstrated a remarkable maximum range of 11,547 kilometers during test firings. With the ability to carry multiple split-guided nuclear warheads, the R-29RMU is equipped with an array of advanced navigation systems, including an inertial gyro platform, astronomical sights, and the GLONASS satellite navigation system.
4. UGM-133 “Trident” II
Occupying the fourth place is the UGM-133 “Trident” II, a submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class and British Vanguard-class nuclear submarines. Introduced in 1990, this missile harnesses a three-stage solid rocket motor, allowing it to achieve a range of approximately 11,300 kilometers. Its capability to carry multiple W88 or W76 nuclear warheads adds to its strategic significance.
5. China Dongfeng 31A (DF-31A)
The fifth position is secured by the China Dongfeng 31A (DF-31A), a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile with an impressive range of 11,200 kilometers. Since its induction in 2006, approximately 10 DF-31A missiles have been incorporated into China’s military arsenal. Propelled by a three-stage solid rocket motor, this missile carries significant weight in terms of global security concerns.
6. Russian “Topol”-M
Earning sixth place is the Russian “Topol”-M, the most advanced model within the Topol series of intercontinental ballistic missiles. With a range of 11,000 kilometers, this missile can be launched from both shafts and mobile platforms. It offers the flexibility to carry either a single 550,000-kiloton nuclear warhead or multiple split-guided multi-warhead missiles. The “Topol”-M stands as a testament to Russia’s post-Soviet Union missile development capabilities.
7. U.S. “Minuteman” 3
The seventh position is claimed by the U.S. “Minuteman” 3, the sole land-based ICBM currently in service within the U.S. Armory. Introduced in 1968, the Minuteman 3 marked the first historical deployment of a separately guided multiple warheads (MRV) ICBM. Boasting a range exceeding 10,000 kilometers, this three-stage solid-fuel rocket-propelled missile plays a vital role in U.S. strategic deterrence.
8. The Hwasong-18
Taking the 8th spot is the Hwasong-18; the Hwasong-18 is a North Korean three-stage solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It is the first solid-fueled ICBM developed by North Korea and was publicly unveiled for the first time during a parade on February 8, 2023, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army. Its maiden flight took place on April 13, 2023. Please note that these details are as per the information provided and may be subject to change or further updates in the future.
9. French M51
Occupying the 9th place is the French M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Introduced in 2010, it replaced the M45 SLBM and is deployed on the French Navy’s Triumph-class nuclear submarines. The M51 offers a range of 8,000 to 10,000 kilometers and carries six independently targeted reentry flight (MIRV) warheads. Its striking capabilities contribute to France’s nuclear deterrence strategy.
10. Russian RSM-56 “Bulava”
Securing the 10th place is the Russian RSM-56 “Bulava,” a submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile used by the “Beifeng” class nuclear submarines. With an approximate range of 10,000 kilometers, the “Bulava” entered active service in January 2013. It can carry between 6 to 10 split-guided nuclear warheads, showcasing its substantial offensive capabilities.
11. India’s Agni 5 ICBM
And at 11th place is India’s “Agni-5” intercontinental missile, with a range of 5,000 kilometers, which concludes our list. Boasting a length of 17 meters, a diameter of 2 meters, and a total weight of 50 tons, the Agni-5 is propelled by tertiary solid fuel propulsion. Capable of carrying a 1000kg nuclear warhead, it stands as India’s longest-range missile equipped for nuclear warfare.
These rankings provide an overview of the world’s top 10 effective range intercontinental ballistic missiles. Each missile serves as a testament to the advanced military capabilities possessed by various countries. It is imperative for the international community to maintain constant vigilance, promote arms control agreements, and foster diplomatic solutions to ensure global peace and security. The pursuit of absolute safety remains an ongoing challenge, emphasizing the need for continuous efforts in global disarmament and conflict resolution.