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Prototype of Russia's new 100-ton ballistic missile to be built in May-June — source

The prototype will have precisely the same size and mass as the future combat version
A ballistic missile silo (archive)  AP Photo
A ballistic missile silo (archive)
© AP Photo

MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. A prototype of the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile will be built in May or June, a source in the defense industry has told TASS, adding that up to 30% of components of the new generation 100-ton missile have already been manufactured at the Krasnoyarsk machine-building plant.

"The manufacturer will finalize a prototype of the Sarmat missile in two or three months’ time. The first pop-up test will follow," the source said. If it is successful, no more pop-up tests (checks of the missile’s individual stages) will be made.

"In 2016 the phase of flight tests will begin," he said. 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 Yuri 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.