International Business Times:
Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces announced Tuesday that the testing of the country’s new Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will begin within the next two years. The announcement came amid growing concerns among Russian authorities that the United States is creating new defensive missiles to be deployed in Eastern Europe.
The new Sarmat ICBM, which is currently in the third stage of its development, is expected to be equipped with several configurations, with the warhead having a mass of 10 tons. Upon completion, Sarmat will reportedly replace the strategic R-36M2 Voyevoda missile, nicknamed “SS-18 Satan” by NATO.
“As of today, the third stage of the design and development work is under way. I believe we’ll reach the stage of tests of this heavy missile in 18-24 months,” Igor Denisov, secretary to the commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, said Tuesday, according to Tass news agency.
Russian authorities also announced Tuesday that all missile divisions of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces are expected to be rearmed with the Yars and Yars-M mobile ground missile systems, equipped with RS-26 missiles, in 2021. The country’s missile divisions currently use the Topol missile complex, which will be withdrawn from service after the rearmament is completed, Tass reported.
On Monday, a Russian military spokesman said that the country’s armed forces in East Siberia would get a new set of 50 Iskander ballistic missile systems by September. According to the official, Russian troops would first be trained on how to operate the Iskander missile system in southern Russia, before being deployed in Buryatia, a region in Siberia.