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MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Drop and flight tests of the advanced Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will begin early in 2016, a Russian defense industry source told TASS on Wednesday.
"Drop tests may start early next year," the source added. He also confirmed that a missile prototype would be made before year-end. As was reported in the press, the Krasnoyarsk Machinebuilding Plant has manufactured the first structural elements of the missile. The sophisticated ICBM uses Russian-made electronic componentry only. The termination of the equipment imports has not affected the program on the development the latest ICBM.
According to Viktor Yesin, former chief of staff of the Strategic Missile Force, the ICBM development program has advanced so far that the drop tests in 2016 may well be quickly followed by the flight trials.
"The program is essentially on schedule," Yesin said. "It is possible that both drop tests will take place and flight tests will start in 2016."
Speaking of the Defense Ministry requirements to the latest strategic missile system, the former Strategic Missile force chief of staff said, "Work is under way to afford the missile a flexible responsiveness to the evolution of the US national missile defenses up to 2030."
"The key requirements to the future missile boil down to improving its power plant over that of its predecessor, the RS-20V Voyevoda (NATO reporting name SS-18 Mod. 1, 2, 3 Satan), to enable the missile to penetrate the current and future US missile defenses," Yesin told TASS. "In addition, the power plant performance is to enable the weapon to reach targets via both the North and south poles." Viktor Yesin summed up.
The Sarmat heavy ICBM is being co-developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya in Reutov (Moscow Region) and the Makeyev State Missile Center in Miass. According to the developers, the advanced Sarmat will weigh within 100 tons. According to Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov, its range will exceed 11,000 km. The cutting-edge missile is designed as a successor to the world’s largest and most formidable ballistic missile, the RS-20V Voyevoda, weighing 210 tons and carrying 10 individually targeted warheads 750 kilotons each.