The Russian Ministry of Defense has once again told the general public about the project of a promising intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for strategic missile forces. This time Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov spoke about the progress of the project. In his interview for the radio station "Russian News Service" the deputy minister disclosed some information on the progress of work on the creation of a new rocket.
According to Yuri Borisov, defense industry enterprises are currently carrying out a number of research and development work related to the threats posed by the latest US projects of global strike systems using hypersonic technologies. The delivery of serial strategic missiles "Yars" and "Bulava" is already underway, and a new product for a similar purpose is being developed. Borisov suggested that by 2020 the Russian strategic forces will be updated not by 70%, as required by the current State Armaments Program, but by 100%.
The Deputy Defense Minister noted that all work on the new project is proceeding in accordance with the schedule. The project will result in the creation and deployment of a new heavy-class intercontinental ballistic missile on combat duty. The missile will receive a multiple warhead with maneuvering warheads. According to Borisov, the promising missile will receive a set of means to overcome the enemy's anti-missile defense. In addition, the characteristics of the power plant will make it possible to fly to the target both through the North and through the South Pole.
Official information about the project of a new rocket, as always, is not complete. The secrecy around these works is such that representatives of the Ministry of Defense can disclose only the most general information about them, and this does not yet allow us to form an overall picture. Nevertheless, it is known that the new project is called "Sarmat" and has been developed since the end of the last decade. Earlier it was also reported that the heavy ICBM "Sarmat" should replace the outdated products of the R-36M family. The head enterprise of the project was the State Missile Center. Academician V. P. Makeeva. In addition, several other organizations are involved in the development of the rocket.
According to reports in 2012, the process of creating a promising heavy ICBM will take several years, as a result of which it will be adopted by the Strategic Missile Forces no earlier than 2020-22. A little later, representatives of the military department announced other deadlines for the completion of the work. Finally, at the end of last year, the commander-in-chief of the Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel-General S. Karakaev, announced that the operation of a new missile system with heavy-class ICBMs would begin at the end of this decade. The latest statements by Yuri Borisov, namely the fact that the work on the project is proceeding in accordance with the schedule, can be considered a confirmation of the terms named by S. Karakaev.
The technical details of the Sarmat project are still unknown, although over the past time, representatives of the Ministry of Defense have made statements several times regarding the features of the new missile. It is known that it will be used by the troops as a replacement for the aging missiles of the R-36M family. From this it is possible to draw rough conclusions about its weight and size characteristics and the method of basing. Probably, the size of the "Sarmat" will not seriously differ from the R-36M. The missiles will be delivered from the plant in transport and launch containers.
Yuri Borisov's words about the energy of a promising rocket can speak of the characteristics of the rocket engines proposed for use, as well as the general appearance of the rocket. Apparently, the architecture of the new missile will use old developments, as a result of which the Sarmat ICBM will receive a two-stage design with a stage of warhead disengagement. However, there has been no confirmation or refutation of this yet.
A promising missile will receive a multiple warhead with several warheads and a complex of means of overcoming antimissile defense. From recent statements by Yuri Borisov it follows that the "Sarmat" will carry maneuvering warheads capable of significantly improving the missile's capabilities. The number of warheads is unknown. Since the Sarmat ICBM is to replace the R-36M missiles of several modifications, the number of warheads should be at least 7-8.
Despite the lack of specific information, recent reports on the Sarmat project are cause for optimism. According to Yuri Borisov, all work in this direction is proceeding in accordance with the schedule, which means that the SRC im. Makeeva and related enterprises have not yet encountered any serious problems and, as a result, can continue to work on the creation of new weapons for the Strategic Missile Forces.