MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. This year’s top priorities for the Russian Armed Forces are to put into combat the advanced Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems and to commission the upgraded Tupolev Tu-160M strategic bombers and S-500 surface-to-air missile systems, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexey Krivoruchko said on Friday.
"The priority tasks for the year of 2024 regarding the military-technical provision of the Russian Armed Forces… are to complete work to put the advanced Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems into combat duty, to commission Tu-160M strategic missile-carrying bombers into the Aerospace Forces as well as S-500 surface-to-air missile systems, and to give the Knyaz Pozharsky strategic nuclear-powered submarine to the Russian Navy…," Krivoruchko stated.
In September 2023, Roscosmos Chief Yury Borisov said that advanced Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems assumed combat duty in Russia. "The Sarmat strategic system has assumed combat alert posture," Borisov announced last September.
The RS-28 Sarmat is a Russian state-of-the art silo-based missile system armed with a heavy liquid-propellant orbital intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear charges. The missile has been developed at the Makeyev State Rocket Center (the town of Miass in the Chelyabinsk Region) to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda ICBM operational in the Russian Strategic Missile Force since 1988.
Based on experts’ estimates, the RS-28 Sarmat is capable of delivering a MIRVed warhead weighing up to 10 tons to any location worldwide both over the North and South Poles.
Russia’s Tupolev Tu-160M aircraft
The Tu-160M is furnished with advanced armament and electronic warfare systems and onboard radio-electronic equipment based on state-of-the-art instrument-making technology. The first Tu-160M upgraded prototype was engineered under a large-scale program of modernizing operational long-range aircraft currently being implemented by the Tupolev Aircraft Company.
Russia launched the program of restarting the production of upgraded Tu-160 strategic bombers following a decision by President Vladimir Putin. Under a state contract signed to implement the program, the Industry and Trade Ministry and the Tupolev Aircraft Company fully digitized the design documentation on the Tu-160M bomber within the shortest time possible, restored the titanium vacuum welding technology, restarted the production of the bomber’s airframe assemblies and set up a new cooperation chain of advanced metallurgical, aircraft-, machine-and instrument-building enterprises, with most of them integrated into Rostec.
The Tu-160 is the world’s largest and most powerful supersonic military aircraft with a variable-sweep wing to date.
The Tu-160 (NATO reporting name: Blackjack) is a Soviet and subsequently a Russian supersonic variable-sweep wing strategic missile-carrying bomber. Along with the Tu-95MS bombers, these planes are the mainstay of the Russian Aerospace Force’s long-range aviation. The Tu-160M is designated to strike enemy targets in remote areas with nuclear and conventional weapons.