Ground trials of Sarmat ICBM about to be completed — Roscosmos chief

Ground trials of Russia’s Sarmat advanced silo-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) are nearing completion, the director general of Russia’s state-run space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, told the Soloviev Live YouTube channel on Saturday.

“In fact, we are completing ground trials of all systems. Never before Russia created an ICBM of this kind,” Rogozin said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday flight trials of the Sarmat silo-based liquid-fueled ICBM will start this year and finish in 2022. In his words, the Strategic Missile Forces should start receiving these missiles next year.

Sarmat is to replace R-36M2 Voevoda missiles, which have been the most powerful in the world and operational since 1970s. Sarmat considerably exceeds the predecessor. Some of its characteristics were disclosed at Army-2019 forum. The new missile weighs 208.1 tons, the payload is close to 10 tons and the fuel is 178 tons. The range of Sarmat is 18,000 kilometers.

It can fly by unpredictable routes and bypass missile defense areas. It can fly over the North and South Pole and approach targets from directions that are not envisaged for interception. Sarmat can carry a line of reentry vehicles, including hypersonic Avangard gliders.

In contrast to Yars and Topol-M ICBMs, Sarmat uses liquid fuel. The higher power allows carrying more warheads, dummy targets, jammers and other tools to break through missile defenses.

So far, Sarmat trials are going in Plesetsk and are limited by pop-up tests to check pre-launch preparations and how the missile leaves the silo. A small charge pops up a mockup to a height of several dozen meters.