The ground trials of Russia’s Sarmat advanced silo-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) are almost complete, as confirmed on Saturday by Dmitry Rogozin, director-general of Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos.
Earlier Friday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that the Sarmat silo-based liquid-fueled ICBM would also move on to flight trials. The trials will begin this year, with completion and deployment to the Russian Strategic Missile Forces expected in 2022.
The Sarmat ICBM
The Sarmat ICBM has been under development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. It is set to replace current R-36M2 Voevoda ICBMs, operational since the 1970s.
Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the missile system in March 2018.
It has been reported that the Sarmat will exceed the power of its predecessor and weighs 208.1 tons (188,785.14 kgs). Its payload is close to 10 tons (9,071.85 kgs) and carried fuel is 178 tons (16,1479 kgs). The ICBM also has a range of 18,000 kilometers (11,184 miles).
Unlike other missile systems, such as the Yars and Topol-M ICBMs, the Sarmat is powered by liquid fuel. This increase in power will allow it to carry more warheads, dummy targets, jammers, and other tools to break through missile defenses.
ICBMs From Other Nations
Russia is currently one of many nations developing and testing new ICBM technology.
The United States has been testing missiles that can intercept an ICBM. North Korea has also conducted ICBM tests, according to the US, while India is also working to upgrade its missile technology, testing its nuclear-capable Agni-5 ICBM system on at least five occasions.