On April 20, Russia successfully launched RS-28 Sarmat “heavy” intercontinental ballistic missile from a silo at the Plesetsk state testing cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk Region.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, the launch objectives have been met in full. This launch is the first one within the state test programme. After the completion of the testing programme, the Sarmat missile system will enter service with Strategic Missile Forces.
Sarmat system is a product solely of Russian production. It has been developed since the 2000s by specialists of V.P. Makeyev State Rocket Center JSC.
The missile’s mass and energy characteristics have fundamentally expanded its range of weaponry, both in the number of warheads and in types, including gliding hypersonic section.
Sarmat will replace R-36M2 Voevoda missiles, which have been the most powerful in the world and operational since 1970s.
Sarmat considerably exceeds the specifications of its 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 thousand kilometers.
Additionally, Sarmat has completely new means to counter missile defense. Its active flight stage, when the missile accelerates and is visible and vulnerable to missile defense, has been reduced. The shorter acceleration section is important for the breakthrough of missile defense, as the separation of reentry vehicles and discharge of dummy targets are possible only after the boost. Sarmat engines rapidly boost the missile to the safe zone and make it invulnerable for the missile defense until it reaches the main flight trajectory.
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.
To make it even more impressive, it can allegedly carry other reentry vehicles such as the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle and other missiles.
Sarmat missile has unique characteristics that allow it to be guaranteed to overcome any existing and promising anti-missile defence systems. The new missile is capable of hitting targets at long ranges using a variety of flight trajectories.
Sarmat is the most powerful missile with the world’s longest distance to hit targets, which will significantly enhance the combat power of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.