Russian RS-28 Sarmat ICBM to be activated in 2022

Russia’s Strategic Missile Force (SMF) is planning to activate the newest Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in 2022, the commander of the military service Colonel General Sergei Karakayev said in an interview with the Red Star newspaper : “The Uzhursk Missile Formation has already launched preparations for the rearmament of the leading missile regiment. [The Sarmat] is planned to be activated in 2022,” said Karakayev.
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In March 2018, the new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile RS-28 Sarmat underwent an ejection test at the Plesetsk state test cosmodrome (Picture source: Russian MoD)

The RS-28 Sarmat (NATO reporting name: SS-X-29 or SS-X-30), named after the Sarmatians, is a liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) under development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. It is intended to replace the R-36M ICBM (SS-18 'Satan') in Russia's arsenal.The Sarmat is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018.

On 24 December 2019, during an exhibition of modern weapon systems at the National Defense Management Center, it was reported that Sarmat is capable of a 35,000 km sub-orbital flight. The trials of the missile system are expected to be completed in 2021, and, during the 2020-2027 period, twenty missile regiments are planned to be rearmed with the RS-28.

According to Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, the Strategic Missile Force will increase the proportion of modern hardware in service to 81% before the end of the year. “The military service deploys deterrence-effective weapon systems, including the Avangard, Voyevoda, Stilet, Topol-M and Yars silo-based ICBMs. The mobile force comprises the Topol, Topol-M, and Yars mobile ICBM systems,” said Karakayev.

The industry maintains the rates of delivery of hardware to the troops, said the general. According to him, the SMF receives some 20 launchers with support systems on a yearly basis. “Three of eight missile divisions, which are set to be rearmed with the Yars, have yet to receive this weapon. The Barnaul Missile Formation and the Bologovo Missile Formation will receive the mobile Yars system, while the Kozelsk Missile Formation will be rearmed with the silo-based variant of the ICBM,” noted Karakayev.

According to the general, in August Shoigu visited the Teykovo Missile Formation armed with both Topol-M and Yars mobile ICBM systems. The capabilities of the Persevet laser to cover patrolling mobile ICBM launchers were demonstrated.