Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will deploy its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) by the end of 2022. Putin made the comments during a televised meeting with military academy graduates, according to reports.
“It is planned that by the end of the year, the first such complex will be on combat duty,” Putin told the graduates, referring to the Russian-developed ICBMs that are capable of carrying 10 or more nuclear warheads and decoys.
Earlier, Col. Gen. Sergei Karakaev, Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces claimed that Sarmat missiles can fly over the North and South Poles and along other trajectories.
“Due to the power-to-weight ratio of the new missile system, the trajectory has the ability to change. From our notorious trajectory through the North Pole, if necessary, it is possible to lay a trajectory through the South Pole, which, in principle, is not protected today. And there are also possibilities for other trajectories – in terms of the possibility of launching into outer space,” Karakaev told the Zvezda TV channel.
He added that, in the coming decades, it will be hardly possible to create means of intercepting Sarmat. “Today, they say that air defense does not exist for the Sarmat missile system, and it probably will not exist in the coming decades,” Karakaev predicted.
He clarified that one of the reasons why Sarmat will be so hard to intercept is that, while being a liquid-propellant rocket, it accelerates almost as fast as missiles with lightweight solid rocket motors.
Russia will be testing Sarmat throughout this year and the military will start receiving the missiles in the fall of 2022, according to Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russian state-run space agency Roscosmos.
Roscosmos plans to construct a total of 46 Sarmat missiles for the needs of the Russian military. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Sarmat is capable of striking targets at long ranges using various flight trajectories and is guaranteed to overcome any existing and prospective missile defense systems.
The first test launch of the Sarmat missile was carried out on April 20. According to Deputy Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces Sergei Poroskun, Sarmat will be in service for 50 years.