MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. The first flight tests of the promising Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) are expected to be conducted in the beginning of next year, a source in the Russian defense industry sector told TASS on Tuesday.
"The expected date of launching Sarmat’s flight trials is the beginning of 2019," the source said.
Russia earlier completed the pop-up tests of Sarmat "with positive results" making it possible to switch to preparations for the flight trials of the missile complex, the Defense Ministry said.
The RS-28 Sarmat is a promising silo-based missile complex with the heavy liquid-propellant ICBM capable of carrying nuclear charges. Russia has been developing the Sarmat since the 2000s to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda ICBM operational in the country’s Strategic Missile Force since 1988. It weighs about 200 tonnes and has a throw weight of about 10 tonnes.
In late December 2017, the media reported about the first successful pop-up test of the Sarmat ICBM. New pop-up tests were announced in late March. As the Defense Ministry’s newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda reported, the tests confirmed the system’s characteristics during the pre-launch preparations and at the initial stage of the missile’s flight. Also, Russia’s Strategic Missile Force got convinced in the proper design and technical solutions made in the missile’s development.
The serial production of the Sarmat ICBM is expected to begin from 2020 and in 2021 the first regiment armed with this missile is expected to assume combat duty.