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Prototype of Russia’s new heavy ballistic missile delayed for several months — source

June 26, 2015, 11:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The warhead will have a mass of ten tons. Its likely flight paths towards potential targets will lie over the North or South Pole
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© TASS/Pyotr Gridin

MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. A prototype of the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile will be built no earlier than in October, and not June as was planned earlier, a source in the military-industrial complex told TASS on Friday.

"According to the adjusted schedule, a prototype of Sarmat will be ready at the end of September or beginning of October. The red line that cannot be crossed is the end of October," the source said.

Another source in the military-industrial complex told TASS earlier that a prototype of the new missile will be ready in May or June.

More than 60% of the missile’s element have already been manufactured at the Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant, the source said. "The plant is doing its work, it all now depends on whether contractors will deliver components on time," the source added. Individual components and assemblies, including engines, are now undergoing production tests, he noted.

In 2016 the phase of flight tests will begin, a source in the defense industry told TASS earlier. The purpose is to check the operation of the powder pressure accumulator and the missile’s operation during liftoff and immediately after it leaves the silo.

"The prototype will have precisely the same size and mass as the future combat version. Instead of a MIRV warhead the prototype will carry a dummy. The booster will not be turned on. Sarmat will rise several dozen meters above the silo to fall nearby," the source said.

On February 21, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said Sarmat will have several configurations. The warhead will have a mass of ten tons. Its likely flight paths towards potential targets will lie over the North or South Pole.

The new-generation liquid propellant ICBM Sarmat is to replace the world’s largest strategic missile R-36M2 Voyevoda, which is close to the life cycle expiration date. Earlier, strategic missile force commander Sergey Karakayev said the strategic missile Sarmat was being developed by a group of defense industry enterprises under the Makeyev State Missile Center.

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