Russia is moving forward with testing of the RS-28 Sarmat.
Speaking to media on Tuesday, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov stated, “The first launch of this missile took place at the end of December last year. At the moment preparations are in full swing at the Plesetsk cosmodrome for another pop-up test.”
He added, “With a mass of more than 200 tonnes it has a shorter active phase of flight and better ability to penetrate missile defenses and can carry warheads of larger mass and enormous yield.”
It is not entirely clear when testing of the missile will be completed. Earlier in the week, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov noted that the RS-28 Sarmat would be in service by the time the R-36M2 Voyevoda is to be retired.
The deputy defense minister said, “There can be no doubts we will have the new missile Sarmat by the time Voyevoda’s service life is over. It is expected that in contrast to its predecessors this missile will be armed with hypersonic warheads, which will make it far harder for defense systems to intercept it.”
Russian officials have touted development of hypersonic warheads following an address by President Vladimir Putin at the start of the month. President Putin dedicated a significant portion of the speech to discussing weapons development.
Russia’s military is seeking to ensure that its strategic deterrent is secure through the procurement of hypersonic systems, which will be able to penetrate through NATO missile defenses.