New Russian Sarmat Heavy ICBM to Begin Trials

Russian Sarmat Heavy ICBM to begin trials within two years.
Russian Sarmat Heavy ICBM to begin trials within two years.

Russia will begin trials of the new Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) within two years, the secretary to the commander of the Russian Strategic Missiles Forces (RSMF) confirmed on Tuesday.

Sputnik News reported that Igor Denisov, secretary of the Russian Strategic Missiles Forces, told journalists that: “The third phase of experimental construction work is being completed today and just as the Missile Forces’ commander said not long ago, within the next one and a half or two years, we will move on to the definitive stage of testing this class of missile.”

The Sarmat Heavy ICBM is due to replace the strategic R-36M2 Voyevoda missile, nicknamed “SS-18 Satan” by NATO. The Sarmat will have multiple configuration possibilities and can carry warheads up to 10 tons.

Despite the announcement , most of the technical specifications of the Sarmat Heavy ICBM remains classified. The Sarmat will be fired from a static silo, however.

The Sarmat heavy ICBM should enter service between 2018 and 2020.

RS-26 and Iskander Missiles: the future of the RSMF

The Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces is also undergoing a massive modernization of its mobile-friendly strategic missiles. By 2021, the Yars and Yars-M mobile ground missile systems, equipped with the RS-26 missiles, should be used by most of the units within the RSMF.

RS-26 Rubezh ICBM
RS-26 Rubezh ICBM

Adding to that, the Russian Armed Forces deployed to East Siberia will receive more than 50 Iskander ballistic missiles by September 2015. The Iskander missiles are being deployed across Russian territory amid confrontation between Russia and NATO over Russia’s military buildup on Eastern Europe borders.

Russian Iskander Missile System, courtesy of Reuters.
Russian Iskander Missile System, courtesy of Reuters.

“The servicemen of the missile formation of the Eastern Military District have received Iskander tactical missile systems. The systems cover a brigade set, which comprises over 50 pieces of combat hardware,” Col. Alexander Gordeyev, a spokesman for Russia’s eastern military district told Russian news agency Tass.

The Iskander missiles will most likely be deployed in Buryatia, a region in Siberia.

The Sarmat Heavy ICBM is another example of the new weapons race between Russia and the United States. Altough both of the nations are denying this fact, it is pretty obvious we’re going through a new Cold War-era force projection.

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.