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Trials of next generation of Russian ICBM RS-28 SARMAT would be completed in 2021

During a visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to the National Defense Control Center (NTsUO) on December 24, 2019, a spokesperson for the military said the trials of the Sarmat RS-28 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) would be completed in 2021. Twenty missile regimens are planned to get the Sarmat in 2020-2027.

Trials of next generation of Russian ICBM RS 28 SARMAT will be completed in 2021 925 001
Russia's RS-28 Sarmat "Satan 2" Heavy Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ICBM. (Picture source print screen video Youtube Military Videos)

The Sarmat’s capability to conduct suborbital flights at a range of 35,000 km will allow full coverage of all areas on Earth. According to the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) Sergey Karakayev, the flight tests of the Sarmat are now being prepared.

The new missile system with the Sarmat missile will be activated in the Uzhurskoye missile formation in Krasnoyarsk Krai, he added. The military is planning to gradually rearm all the missile units with the RS-24 Yars, Avangard, and Sarmat systems. The works on the activation of the Avangard missile system in Dombarovskoye (Orenburg Region) are finishing.

Sarmat design began in 2009. It had to be completed by late 2016 but was delayed because of the unprepared launch pad in Plesetsk and technical re-equipment problems at the main producer (Krasnoyarsk machine-building works), as well as problems with the first missile samples exposed by durability trials.

All technical problems were resolved in the second half of 2017 and it was reported in October that two RS-28 were ready to be delivered to Plesetsk launch site for pop-up trials when the missile has ballast instead of payload and fuel. The ejection of the missile from the silo by cartridge pressure accumulator is tested. It launches the missile like a mortar. First-stage engines are also likely to be tested.

The new SARMAT missile is to become operational in the coming years and will replace Voevoda RS-20V (R-36M2) ICBM. The Strategic Missile Forces said that the RS-28 Sarmat has a range of 18,000 km and a launch weight of 208.1 tons. The payload weighs over 10 tons. There are 178 tons of fuel.

The most common R-36M2 payload comprises ten reentry vehicles of close to 800 kilotons each in TNT equivalent. Other warheads were designed for the missile, including a single light warhead of 8 megatons and a heavy one of 20 megatons (the latter has not been deployed, according to available information).

The 18,000 km range announced at Army-2019 defense exhibition confirms the characteristics, but also means that Sarmat does not belong to the partially orbital systems of R-36orb type with unlimited range. The issue is only the orbit entry and exit parameters of the reentry vehicle capable of hitting a target in any part of the planet.

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