September 15, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10796

Russian Commander Karakaev On Russian RS-28 Sarmat Strategic Missile System Recently Put Into Combat: 'If Necessary, You Can Lay A Trajectory Through The South Pole, Which In Principle Today Is Not Protected'

September 15, 2023
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 10796

On September 1, 2023, the Director General of the Roscosmos State Corporation, Yury Borisov, stated that the Russian strategic missile system RS-28 Sarmat with a heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has been put on combat duty.

(Source: Russian Defense Ministry's press service/TASS)

(Source: Tass)

Putin: The "Nuclear Triad" Is "The Key Guarantee Of Russia's Military Security And Global Stability"

In June 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the R-28 Sarmat silo-based strategic missile systems would "soon" be put on combat duty. He said: "A crucial task in this regard is to develop the nuclear triad, the key guarantee of Russia's military security and global stability. Nearly half of the units and formations of the Strategic Missile Forces have been equipped with the latest Yars systems, forces are being converted to advanced missile systems with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle. The first Sarmat launcher systems with a new heavy missile will enter combat duty shortly."[1]

In December 2022, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had already reported that Russia had begun to work on deploying these missiles. In November of the same year, the director of the VP Makeev Design Bureau, Vladimir Degtyar said that the R-28 Sarmat complex had been put into mass production. It is worth noting that the development of weapons was carried out by the State Research Center named after Viktor Makeev, a renowned Soviet engineer in the Soviet space program who developed the Submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) for the Soviet Navy, with the participation of the Scientific and Production Association of Mechanical Engineering.

"In The Future, The R-28 Sarmat May Be Provided With Hypersonic Block Of The Strategic Missile System Avangard As Combat Equipment"

Russian media outlet reported about the Russian strategic missile system: "The R-28 Sarmat silo-based liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile is equipped with a 10-ton payload and can travel about 16,000 kilometers. The ICBM is 36 meters long and 3 meters in diameter. The missile head can contain several separable nuclear warheads with a total power of several megatons in TNT equivalent. As a means of protection against enemy missile defense systems (MDS), the ICBM was provided with decoys imitating warheads, which will divert enemy anti-ballistic missiles to intercept them. In the future, the R-28 Sarmat may be provided with hypersonic block of the strategic missile system Avangard as combat equipment."[2]

Development work on the RS-28 Sarmat project began in 2011. The first ICBM launch under the state test program took place in April 2022. On that occasion, Putin said: "The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defense. It has no analogues in the world and will not have any for a long time to come. This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our Armed Forces, reliably ensuring Russia's security against external threats, and will be a wakeup call for those who are trying to threaten our country in the frenzy of rabid, aggressive rhetoric."[3]

Commander Karakaev: "The Enemy Will Have A Missile Defense System Capable Of Intercepting The R-28 Sarmat Not Earlier Than Decades [From Now]'

The R-28 Sarmat is to replace the Soviet R-36M2 Voyevoda ICBMs in service with the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF). According to Strategic Missile Forces Commander Sergei Karakaev, the new ICBM is distinguished by a shorter boost phase, increased energy capacity and improved protection of the missile and its silo launcher. According to Karakaev's assessment, "the enemy will have a missile defense system capable of intercepting the R-28 Sarmat not earlier than decades [from now]." Karakayev further stated: "From our proverbial trajectory through the North Pole, if necessary, you can lay a trajectory through the South Pole, which in principle today is not protected. There are also other trajectories – considering the possibility of launching into outer space."[4]


[1], June 21, 2023.

[2], September 1, 2023.

[3], April 20, 2022.

[4], September 1, 2023.

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