The Russian military on Wednesday announced the first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the next-generation long-range ballistic missile, hailed by President Vladimir Putin as “unparalleled”.
“This is truly a unique weapon that will enhance the military capabilities of our armed forces, keep Russia safe from external threats and make those who try to threaten our country with wild and aggressive rhetoric think twice,” Putin said.
“I emphasize that only assemblies, components and parts of the national product were used for the creation of Sarmat,” he added during a televised announcement.
According to Putin, the fifth-generation Sarmad intercontinental ballistic missile is capable of “surpassing all modern anti-aircraft systems”.
In a video, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the shooting took place at 3:12 GMT (1212 GMT) from a launch pad in Plechetsk, in the Arkhangelsk region (northwest).
According to the source, the missile then hit a planned target at another military base on the Russian peninsula Kamchatka, 5,000 kilometers away.
“At the end of the test program, Sarmat will enter the Russian strategic forces,” Konashenkov added. “Strategic” forces, in their broadest sense, are designed to intervene, especially during a nuclear war.
Sarmat bears the name of a nomadic people who lived in ancient times around the Black Sea between present-day Russia and Ukraine.
This new weapon is part of a series of other missiles delivered in 2018 by Vladimir Putin as “invincible.” There are also Kinzel (“punch”) and Avoncord hypersonic missiles.
In March, Moscow said it was using Kinzal for the first time against targets in Ukraine.
Weighing in at more than 200 tons, the Sarmat will have a range of 11,000 km more than its predecessor, the Vovoda missile.
In 2019, Mr Putin said Sarmad “had almost no limits when it came to limits” and “managed to cross the North Pole and the South Pole.”