Sarmat Super Missile ready for testing
The giant new Sarmat liquid fuelled ICBM able to smash through any missile defence shield is now ready for testing
Russia's giant Voevoda ICBM - to be replaced by the new Sarmat
Russia has announced that its next heavy ICBM (“intercontinental ballistic missile”) is ready for testing.
Very little is known about the missile other than that it is liquid fuelled and bigger than every other ICBM in existence save for the one it replaces - the gigantic R36M, which NATO calls “Satan” but which the Russians call Voevoda.
You can see a film of Russian soldiers launching the Voevoda here.
Though the new missile - called the Sarmat - is believed to be smaller than the Voevoda, it will be at least as powerful. This is because it benefits from the huge advances in materials and liquid fuels since the Voevoda was designed in the 1960s.
Whilst the new missile capabilities are unknown, there are rumours that it will use a hypersonic warhead or warheads - making it capable of defeating all defences.
The single most impressive thing about the new missile is the speed of its development,
Development was launched in 2009 - just 6 years ago - and it is already ready for testing. This is despite the fact that the Soviet factory that previously built the USSR’s land based liquid fuelled ICBMs is lost to Russia since it is located in Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine.
In other words the Russians have developed a new production facility - in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk where sea launched missiles were previously produced - and produced a prototype ready for testing in just 6 years.
The new Sarmat missile will take its place alongside the smaller and less powerful road mobile solid fuelled ICBMs like the Yars that Russia has been building since the start of the century. There are now plans to install a variant of the Yars on railway carriages.
In addition, after a troubled development history, Russia’s new sea launched ICBM, the Bulava, is now in full operational service on board Russia’s Borei class submarines.
That means that Russia has three new ICBM systems in production or advanced development:
The Yars land mobile solid fuel ICBM
The Bulava mixed fuel sea launched ICBM
The heavy Sarmat liquid fuelled ICBM
By contrast the US’s current land based ICBM - the Minuteman III - dates from the 1960s, and its sea launched ICBM - the Trident II - dates from the 1980s.