Russia Begins Tests of Promising Sarmat Missile Complex
(Source: TASS; published March 01, 2018)
MOSCOW --- Russia has launched tests of new promising missile complex Sarmat, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during his annual State of the Nation Address.

"We have launched the development of the new generation of missiles, and, in particular, the Defense Ministry jointly with the missile and space industry launched the active phase of tests of a new missile complex equipped with a heavy intercontinental missile. We called it Sarmat," Putin said.

The Russian president demonstrated the lawmakers and the senators from both houses of the Russian parliament a video showing the main technical characteristics of the Sarmat missile complex, which in particular has an unlimited flight distance.

According to Putin, "this missile complex will replace the Voyevoda ICBM complex, which was designed in the times of the Soviet Union." "Everyone has been always acknowledging its high combat potential and our foreign colleagues gave it a very threatening name, but the technical capabilities of the Sarmat system are much higher," the Russian president said and named some of the characteristics of the new missile system.

"With the total weight of over 200 tons it has a short active flight path, which complicates its intercept by ABM systems," he said. "The new heavy missile’s range, the number and yield of its warheads are greater compared to the Voyevoda missile."

Putin said that the Sarmat would be armed with a broad variety of nuclear warheads, including the supersonic ones, and would be equipped with the cutting-edge technologies of penetrating anti-missile systems.

"High protection characteristics of launching pads and enormous power efficiency will provide for the operation of this missile complex under any condition and in any situation," the president stated. "While the Voyevoda has a flight range of 11,000 kilometers, the new system has practically no distance limits."

The new missile system, Putin continued, "is capable of striking targets both via the North and the South Poles."

"The Sarmat is a very formidable weapon and due to its characteristics none of the perspective ABM systems pose an obstacle to it," Putin added.


Key Facts About Russia’s Advanced Sarmat ICBM System
(Source: TASS; published March 01, 2018)
MOSCOW --- In his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s Defense Ministry had launched an active phase jointly with enterprises of the rocket and space industry to test a new missile system with the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The RS-28 Sarmat is the Russian promising silo-based missile complex with the heavy liquid-propellant ICBM capable of carrying nuclear charges. Russia has been developing the Sarmat since the 2000s to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda ICBM operational in the country’s Strategic Missile Force since 1988.

The missile complex was named after the nomadic Sarmatian tribes who lived in the 6th-4th centuries BC on the territory of present-day Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Project’s history

The state contract for the Sarmat R&D work was concluded on July 21, 2011. On the day of the 54th anniversary of the Strategic Missile Force on December 17, 2013, Strategic Missile Force Commander Colonel-General Sergei Karakayev officially announced for the first time about the system’s creation.

On May 31, 2014, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters that the heavy missile was "a unique weapon," which the United States lacked. He specified that "by its lifting capacity, it is capable of carrying such means of breaching anti-missile defense and using such a powerful propellant that it will be able to fly through the North and South Poles."

According to the deputy defense minister, the missile will be furnished with "maneuvering warheads." Later, on February 21, 2015, he said that the missile would be developed in several modifications while the weight of the deliverable warhead would make up 10 tonnes.

The Sarmat ICBM prototype was ready in the autumn of 2015 while the timeframe of pop-up tests at the Plesetsk spaceport (the northern Arkhangelsk Region) was numerously rescheduled due to the unpreparedness of the silo-based launcher. On December 27, 2017, the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets reported about the first successful pop-up test of the missile prototype.

The Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant (part of the Makeyev State Rocket Center) is the principal enterprise for the production of Sarmat ICBM prototypes.

In 2013, Strategic Missile Force Commander Colonel-General Sergei Karakayev said that the new missile complex was due to arrive for the Strategic Missile Force in 2018-2020. In May 2016, a TASS source in the defense sector said that the Sarmat would be accepted for service in late 2018.

Before the Sarmat is accepted for service, Russian defense manufacturers are taking measures to extend the service life of the R-36M2 Voyevoda missile (according to the data of open sources, Russia’s Strategic Missile Force operates 46 such ICBMs).

In his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018, President Putin said that with its weight of 200 tonnes, the Sarmat ICBM has a short active flight path, which complicates its intercept by ABM systems. According to Putin, the new missile’s range, the number and the yield of its warheads are greater than those of the Voyevoda ICBM.

The Russian president said that the Sarmat would be furnished with a wide range of large-yield nuclear warheads (including hypersonic capabilities) and the most advanced systems of breaching ABM defenses.


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