Russia accelerates production of RS-28 Sarmat missiles to increase its nuclear power

Army General Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Minister of Defense, visited the JSC Krasmash facility in the Krasnoyarsk Territory on October 7, 2023, to oversee the advancement of the state defense order concerning the latest generation of Russian-made nuclear-capable RS-28 Sarmat ICBM InterContinental Ballistic Missiles.
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The RS-28 Sarmat is the latest generation of nuclear-capable ICBM InterContinental Ballistic missile produced by the Russian defense industry. .(Picture source Russian MoD)

During his visit, General Shoigu meticulously inspected the production workshops and the technological process of the serial production of the fifth-generation strategic missile system, "RS-28 Sarmat". The company is in the final stages of producing the first batch of these missiles, which are slated to be put on combat duty imminently.

Construction and commissioning work on the silo launchers' units and systems, as well as the command post, are nearing completion in the positional area of one of the formations.

The Defense Minister was briefed by the enterprise's management on the progress of the Sarmat strategic missile system contracts. Emphasizing the significance of the project, General Shoigu stated, “In line with the directive of the President of the Russian Federation, the Sarmat strategic missile system is being readied for combat duty. The integration of this system into the Strategic Missile Forces, which will form the cornerstone of Russia's ground-based strategic nuclear arsenal, is paramount for bolstering the nation's defense capabilities. Presently, efforts are concentrated on equipping the first missile regiment with the Sarmat system at the primary facility of the Strategic Missile Forces.”

The General Director of Krasmash JSC also provided updates on the company's endeavors. He highlighted the expansion of the company's production capacity, the integration of state-of-the-art technological equipment, and the upcoming inauguration of a new 18,000-square-meter production building for machining. This new facility will provide 300 modern workplaces.

Furthermore, the head of Krasmash JSC emphasized the company's commitment to nurturing a skilled workforce. He proudly mentioned the influx of young, well-educated, and qualified individuals joining the plant in recent times.

Russia accelerates production of RS 28 Sarmat missiles to increase its nuclear power 925 002
The RS-28 Sarmat is capable of carrying 10 tonnes of payload, of ten 750 kilotons or 15 lighter MIRV warheads, and up to 24 Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). (Picture source Russian MoD)

The RS-28 Sarmat is a next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed by Russia to serve as a cornerstone of its strategic nuclear deterrent. It's intended to replace the aging R-36M missiles, which have been in service since the Soviet era.

One of the most notable features of the Sarmat is its impressive range, which exceeds 11,000 kilometers. This extensive range allows Russia to target almost any location on Earth. Additionally, the Sarmat is designed to have a "fractional orbital bombardment" capability. This means it can travel a suborbital trajectory, bypassing traditional missile defense routes and making it extremely difficult for adversaries to predict its path or intercept it.

The Sarmat's large payload capacity, estimated at around 10 tons, is another significant advantage. This capacity enables the missile to carry multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs). MIRVs are essentially multiple nuclear warheads that can be directed at different targets, allowing a single missile to strike several locations. This capability not only increases the missile's destructive power but also its ability to penetrate advanced missile defense systems, as intercepting multiple warheads simultaneously is a complex challenge.

The Sarmat is designed to achieve hypersonic speeds, which are speeds greater than Mach 5. At these velocities, the missile becomes a challenging target for existing missile defense systems. Its speed, combined with its MIRV capability, makes the Sarmat a formidable weapon that can bypass most of the current missile defense infrastructures.

The development and deployment of the RS-28 Sarmat underscore Russia's commitment to maintaining a robust nuclear deterrent. In the context of global geopolitics, the Sarmat serves as a message to potential adversaries about Russia's military capabilities and its readiness to defend its interests.

The introduction of the Sarmat is part of Russia's broader effort to modernize its nuclear forces. As older systems become obsolete, weapons like the Sarmat ensure that Russia remains at the forefront of ICBM technology, maintaining strategic parity with other major nuclear powers.

Defense News October 2023