The first launch of the Russian intercontinental ballistic missile "Sarmat" was successfully carried out from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region, the Russian Defense Ministry stated on Wednesday.
It has been under development for years and so its test launch is not a surprise for the West, but it comes at a moment of extreme geopolitical tension due to Russia's war in Ukraine.
"On Wednesday at 15:12 Moscow time at the Plesetsk state test cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region, a Sarmat fixed-based intercontinental ballistic missile was successfully launched from a silo launcher," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"Sarmat" is a strategic missile system, a heavy-class liquid-propellant ICBM, the weight of one such missile exceeds 200 tons. According to open sources, the cast weight is 10 tons.
The new missile system will replace the R-36 "Voevoda" (NATO: SS-18 “Satan”) ICBMs currently in use by Russia's Strategic Missile Forces.
"In the Uzhur missile formation in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, work is underway to prepare the head missile regiment for re-equipment with a new missile system. The promising Sarmat missile system will replace the Voevoda," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"Sarmat" is the most powerful missile with the longest operational range in the world, according to Russia, which will significantly increase the combat power of the country's strategic nuclear forces.
"The launch tasks have been completed in full. Design characteristics have been confirmed at all stages of its flight. Training warheads have arrived in a given area at the Kura training ground on the Kamchatka Peninsula," the ministry added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who watched the launch of the missile via video link, said that it would have no analogs in the world for a long time to come and would make those "who, in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric, are trying to threaten our country." think twice before acting against Russia.
"The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern anti-missile defense systems," Putin said.