MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. Russia’s newest silo-based inter-continental ballistic missile Sarmat (RS-28) is expected to go operational in the Uzhur-based strategic missile force division in 2021, a source in the defense-industrial complex told TASS.
"Under the government-run program for armaments extending till 2027 Sarmat is to be produced serially starting from 2020. The first regiment armed with this missile is to enter duty in the Uzhur-based division," the agency’s source said. At first the regiment will consist of a command center and two missiles in silos. Eventually the regiment’s strength will be increased to six silos.
TASS has no official confirmation of this.
Earlier, mass media quoted officials as saying more than once that the deployment of the new heavy missile is to begin after 2018 although the RS-28’s flight tests have not started yet.
Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said the Russian army will get the new ICBM Sarmat by the moment the life cycle of the current heavy missile R-36M2 Voyevoda expires. In the Soviet Union these missiles were manufactured at the Yuzhmashplant (Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine) and entered duty in 1988-1992.
Strategic Missile Force commander Sergey Karakayev said the Voyevodas will stay in service at least till 2024, but their service life may be extended up to 2027.
RS-28 is Russia’s new generation silo-based heavy liquid propellant inter-continental ballistic missile. Work on it has been underway since the 2000s with the aim to produce a substitute for the R-36M2 Voyevoda. It has a mass of about 200 tonnes and payload of about 10 tonnes. The media reported the first successful popup test in December 2017.