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Russia makes prototype of new ballistic missile, tests planned for spring 2016 — source

November 17, 2015, 9:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The mass of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile's warhead is 10 tons, and it's capable of destroying targets flying across both the North and South Pole
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© Pyotr Gridin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Russia has made a prototype of a new intercontinental ballistic missile named Sarmat, its drop and flight tests at the Plesetsk space center are planned for the spring-summer 2016, a source in the military-industrial complex told TASS on Tuesday.

The Sarmat ICBM prototype, according to the source, was made a few months later than planned. Despite this, he added, the timeframe for the new missile’s putting intro service has not changed — late 2018.

"The Krasnoyarsk Machine Building Plant has manufactured 100% structural elements of the missile and the plant continues tests of its individual components and units. The beginning of Sarmat’s drop tests depends on the time of the reconfiguration of the silo at the Plesetsk site, which will be used for testing. The conversion is to be completed by March 2016, and the first drop test of the missile is planned or the same month," the source said.

According to him, if the tests are successful, there will be no more drop tests. "The beginning of the Sarmat ICBM flight tests should be expected in July-August 2016," the source said, adding that under the usual procedure, the time interval between the two types of tests is three to four months.

The Sarmat tests’ have been rescheduled, because of the decision to transfer the tests from the Baikonur spaceport (Kazakhstan) to Plesetsk in Russia’s northwest and the need to reequip for Sarmat the old launcher, which was used to test the Voyevoda missile (R-36M2, in service since 1988).

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said previously that the mass of the Sarmat ICBM warhead is 10 tons, and the missile is capable of destroying targets flying across both the North and South Pole. The Sarmat ICBM that is to replace the Voyevoda, will be created in several versions, Borisov said.

The Sarmat heavy ICBM was co-developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya in Reutov (Moscow Region) and the Makeyev State Missile Centre in Miass. According to the developers, the advanced Sarmat will weigh within 100 tonnes. According to 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 tonnes and carrying 10 individually targeted warheads 750 kilotons each.

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