Russia will carry out three tests of Sarmat, its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), in this year.
"Three launches of the Sarmat ICBM will be carried out as part of flight development tests in 2021," a source close to the Russian defense ministry was quoted as saying by government-owned TASS news agency today.
First test of the Sarmat will take place in the third quarter of 2021.
Sources from the MoD and defense industry revealed that the test launches would be performed from a silo at the Plesetsk space center in northwestern Russia. A field at the Kura testing range on Kamchatka will be the target for the first test. One of the three missiles is expected to be fired at its maximum range.
State trials of the ICBM are due to begin in 2022. In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the first regiment equipped with these ICBMs will achieve combat duty next year.
"The defense ministry is already purchasing serially produced missiles," one of the sources said.
The RS-28 Sarmat (SS-X-30 Satan II) is an advanced silo-based system with a heavy liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile. It has been in the process of its development since the 2000s to replace the R-36M2 Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) ICBM. It weighs about 200 tonnes and has a payload of around 10 tonnes. Russia claims that the missile has a range of 10,000-18,000 km. Sarmat can reportedly load up to 10 large warheads, 16 smaller ones, a combination of warheads and countermeasures, or hypersonic boost-glide vehicles.