Russian armed forces to get RS-28 Sarmat missiles in 2021

The Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles will be added to the Russian armed forces' arsenal in 2021, Deputy Defence Minister Aleksey Krivoruchko said on Monday in an interview with journal Radio Electronic Technology. It will replace the Voevoda (РС-20В Satan), the heaviest strategic missile in the world.

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RS-28 Sarmat being raised in launching position (Picture source: Russian MoD)

Work on the project was launched in 2011. Experimental testing of the Sarmat missile system has already been completed at Russia's Plesetsk spaceport, and the missile will be produced at Krasmash, a machine-building plant in Krasnoyarsk. The main tactical and technical characteristics of the latest Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile were first revealed at the Army-2019 forum.

The RS-28 Sarmat (NATO reporting name: SS-X-29 or SS-X-30) is a liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped, heavy thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), under development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. It is intended to replace the R-36M ICBM (SS-18 'Satan') in Russia's arsenal. The Sarmat is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018.

The Sarmat will be capable to carry about 10 tonnes of payload for either up to 10 heavy or 15 light MIRV warheads, up to 3 Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) or a combination of warheads and massive amounts of countermeasures designed to defeat anti-missile systems. The Russian ministry of Defense said that the missile is Russia's response to the U.S. Prompt Global Strike system.

Sarmat has a short boost phase, which shortens the interval when it can be tracked by satellites with infrared sensors, such as the U.S. Space-Based Infrared System, making it more difficult to intercept. It is speculated that the Sarmat could fly a trajectory over the South Pole, completely immune to any current missile defense system and that it has the Fractional Orbital Bombardment (FOBS) capability.

According to various sources, RS-28's launch sites are to be equipped with the "Mozyr" active protection system, designed to negate potential adversary's first strike advantage by kinetically destroying incoming bombs, cruise missiles and ICBM warheads at altitudes of up to 6 km.


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