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Delivery of new Russian-made Sarmat RS-28 ICBM ballistic missile will begin in 2021.

| 2020

The first batch deliveries of Sarmat RS-28 ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) to the Russian army will begin in 2021. The fifth-generation silo-based missile can break through any missile shield also by the orbital bombing method.

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New RS-28 Sarmat ICBM InterContinental Ballistic Missile. (Picture source Russian DoD)

Sarmat ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) was designed by the Makeev State Missile Center. It will be produced by Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant. The new ICBM will replace Voevoda designed by Ukrainian Yuzhnoe Bureau in Soviet times.

President Vladimir Putin described the capabilities of the new ICBM in March 2018. “The range of the heavy missile, the number and firepower of reentry vehicles is bigger than Voevoda has. Sarmat will be armed with a broad range of nuclear high-power warheads, including hypersonic ones, and modern systems to break through missile defense. High protection of the launchers and big power capabilities will ensure the engagement of the missile in any situation,” he said.

Most data about the latest ICBM is kept secret. Open sources said a cycle of active trials is ongoing. Pop-up tests were successful. They push the missile from the silo 30 meters high and start up the main engine of the first stage.

The Defense Ministry is now beginning flight development tests. The ICBM will be launched with a mockup of the reentry vehicle from a silo in Plesetsk cosmodrome to Kura range in Kamchatka. The final test launch will be made by the division of Strategic Missile Forces in Krasnoyarsk region.

The new missile has to use the same launchers which fire Voevoda R-36M. RS-28 has new engines. Besides the power plant, a new fuel mixture was developed for Sarmat. Bigger engine thrust increases the range. The active flight section has been decreased. Sarmat remains in a safe area during the boost to the trajectory. It is therefore invulnerable for adversary missile defense which targets an ICBM during the boost when it is most visible and vulnerable.

The payload of the new missile is ten tons. Sarmat can carry several reentry vehicles of small, medium and high firepower. It also has numerous dummy targets for adversary missile shield.

Sarmat with various payloads are likely to go on combat duty. The missile can reportedly carry three gliding hypersonic Avangard reentry vehicles. The gliding and maneuvering flight of Avangard makes it invulnerable for existing and prospective missile defense. The ICBM provides high precision of target hit at intercontinental distance.

Sarmat will help Russia keep strategic parity with the United States for many years. The Uzhur division deployed in Krasnoyarsk region will be rearmed with Sarmat. At present, defense enterprises prepare flight development tests of the missile. Work is ongoing to prepare the first missile regiment for rearmament.


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