MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. The flight development tests of Russia’s most advanced RS-28 Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) are expected to start from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in north Russia in the second quarter of 2019, a source in the domestic defense industry told TASS on Thursday.
"The Sarmat’s flight development tests are planned to be launched from the second quarter of next year," the source said.
During the tests from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and from the base of the Uzhur missile division stationed in the Krasnoyarsk Region in East Siberia, "several experimental prototypes are planned to be launched. The year 2020 is the declared term of the trials’ completion," the source said.
After that, a control launch of the serial missile will be accomplished, the source added.
In the coming two or three months, work will continue to carry out the missile’s ground tests and create the necessary infrastructure in the Uzhur missile division, the source said.
TASS has no official confirmation of this information yet.
As Russian Strategic Missile Force Commander Sergei Karakayev told journalists on December 18, the flight tests of the Sarmat heavy liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile will first be conducted from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and then from the base of the Uzhur missile division.
As the commander noted, "work is currently underway to create the [missile’s] experimental prototypes and prepare the sites for the flight tests."
A day before that, on December 17, Karakayev told Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper that the trials of the Sarmat ICBM would start "in the immediate future."
Before that, the pop-up tests of the Sarmat ICBM were successfully conducted.
The RS-28 Sarmat is the Russian advanced silo-based system with the heavy liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile. It has been in the process of its development since the 2000s to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda ICBM.
It weighs about 200 tonnes and has a throw weight of around 10 tonnes. The media reported in late December 2017 about the first successful pop-up test of the Sarmat ICBM.