RS-28 Sarmat

Last updated
RS-28 (Sarmat)
Type Superheavy Intercontinental ballistic missile
Place of originRussia
Service history
In service2021
Used by Strategic Missile Forces
Production history
Designer Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau
Manufacturer KrasMash, Zlatoust MZ, NPO Energomash, NPO Mashinostroyeniya, KBKhA
Mass208.1 metric tons [1]
Length35.5 m[ citation needed ]
Diameter3 m[ citation needed ]

Warhead10–15 MIRVs [2]
Unspecified number of Avangard HGVs

EngineFirst stage: PDU-99 (RD-274 derived)
Propellant Liquid
~18,000 kilometres (11,000 mi) [3]
Maximum speed Mach 20.7; 25,560 km/h (15,880 mph); 7.1 km/s (4.4 mi/s)
Inertial guidance, GLONASS, Astro-inertial

The RS-28 Sarmat (Russian:РС-28 Сармат, [4] named after the Sarmatians; [5] NATO reporting name: SS-X-29 [6] or SS-X-30 [7] ) is a Russian liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) under development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. [4] [8] It is intended to replace the R-36M ICBM (SS-18 'Satan') in Russia's arsenal. [9] [10]


The Sarmat is one of the six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018. [11] The RS-28 Sarmat is expected to enter service in 2021. [12]


In February 2014, a Russian military official announced the Sarmat is expected to be ready for deployment around 2020. [13] In May the same year, another official source suggested that the program was being accelerated and that it would, in his opinion, constitute up to 100 percent of Russia's fixed land-based nuclear arsenal by 2021. [14] [15]

In late June 2015, it was reported that the production schedule for the first prototype of the Sarmat was slipping. [16] [17] The RS-28 Sarmat was expected to become operational in 2016. [18]

On 10 August 2016, Russia successfully tested the RS-28's first-stage engine named PDU-99. [19] The first image of the missile was declassified and unveiled in October 2016.[ citation needed ]

In early 2017, prototype missiles had been reportedly built and delivered to Plesetsk Cosmodrome for trials but the test program was being delayed to re-check key hardware components before initial launch. [20]

According to the commander of the Russian Strategic Forces, Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev, the RS-28 Sarmat will be deployed with the 13th Red Banner Rocket Division of the 31st Missile Army at Dombarovsky Air Base, Orenburg Oblast and with the 62nd Red Banner Rocket Division of the 33rd Guards Rocket Army at Uzhur, Krasnoyarsk Krai, replacing the previous R-36M ICBMs currently located there. [9]

In late December 2017, the first successful ejection test of the missile was carried out at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. According to the report, the missile flew several dozen kilometers and fell within the test range. [21] [22]

On 1 March 2018, Russian president Vladimir Putin, in his annual address to the Federal Assembly, said that "the active phase of tests" of the missile had begun. [23] Shortly after, an anonymous military source was cited as saying that the information about the Sarmat missile had in 2007 been leaked to the West deliberately. [24] On 30 March 2018, the Russian Defence Ministry published a video showing the Sarmat performing its second successful test-launch at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.[ citation needed ]

On 24 December 2019, during the exhibition of the modern weapon systems at the National Defense Management Center, it was reported that Sarmat is capable of a "35,000 km sub-orbital flight". The trials of the missile complex are expected to be completed in 2021, and, during the 2020-2027 period, "twenty missile regiments are planned to be rearmed with the RS-28". [25]


The RS-28 Sarmat will be capable of carrying about 10 tonnes of payload for either up to 10 heavy or 15 light MIRV warheads, [26] an unspecified number of Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) [27] or a combination of warheads and massive amounts of countermeasures against anti-ballistic missile systems. [28] [29] The Russian ministry of Defense said that the missile is Russia's response to the U.S. Prompt Global Strike system. [14]

Sarmat has a short boost phase, which shortens the interval when it can be tracked by satellites with infrared sensors, such as the U.S. Space-Based Infrared System, making it more difficult to intercept. [30] [31] [32] [33] It is speculated that the Sarmat could fly a trajectory over the South Pole, completely immune to any current missile defense system, [31] and that it has the Fractional Orbital Bombardment (FOBS) capability. [9]

According to various sources, RS-28's launch sites are to be equipped with the "Mozyr" [34] active protection system, designed to negate potential adversary's first strike advantage by kinetically destroying incoming bombs, cruise missiles and ICBM warheads at altitudes of up to 6 km. [35] [36] [37] [38] [39]

Future operators

Flag of Russia.svg  Russia

See also

Related Research Articles

Intercontinental ballistic missile Ballistic missile with a range of more than 5,500 kilometres

An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is a missile with a minimum range of 5,500 kilometres (3,400 mi) primarily designed for nuclear weapons delivery. Similarly, conventional, chemical, and biological weapons can also be delivered with varying effectiveness, but have never been deployed on ICBMs. Most modern designs support multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs), allowing a single missile to carry several warheads, each of which can strike a different target. Russia, United States, China, France, India, United Kingdom, and North Korea are the only countries that have operational ICBMs.

Plesetsk Cosmodrome Spaceport in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast, northwestern Russia

Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport located in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow and approximately 200 km south of Arkhangelsk, the cosmodrome dates from 1957. Originally developed as an ICBM site for the R-7 missile, it also served for numerous satellite launches using the R-7 and other rockets. Its high latitude makes it useful only for certain types of launches, especially the Molniya orbits, so for much of the site's history it functioned as a secondary location, with most orbital launches taking place from Baikonur, in the Kazakh SSR. With the end of the Soviet Union, Baikonur became a foreign territory, and Kazakhstan charged $115 million usage fees annually. Consequently, Plesetsk has seen considerably more activity since the 2000s.

Strategic Rocket Forces Russian military unit

The Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation or the Strategic Missile Forces of the Russian Federation are a separate-troops branch of the Russian Armed Forces that control Russia's land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

RT-2PM2 Topol-M Russian ICBM

The RT-2PM2 «Topol-M» is one of the most recent intercontinental ballistic missiles to be deployed by Russia, and the first to be developed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was developed from the RT-2PM Topol mobile intercontinental ballistic missile.

R-36 (missile) Type of intercontinental ballistic missile designed by the Soviet Union

The R-36 is a family of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and space launch vehicles (Tsyklon) designed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The original R-36 was deployed under the GRAU index 8K67 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-9 Scarp. It was able to carry three warheads and was the first Soviet MRV(multiple reentry vehicle) missile. The later version, the R-36M was produced under the GRAU designations 15A14 and 15A18 and was given the NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan. This missile was viewed by certain United States analysts as giving the Soviet Union first strike advantage over the U.S., particularly because of its rapid silo-reload ability, very heavy throw weight and extremely large number of re-entry vehicles. Some versions of the R-36M were deployed with 10 warheads and up to 40 penetration aids and the missile's high throw-weight made it theoretically capable of carrying more warheads or penetration aids. Contemporary U.S. missiles, such as the Minuteman III, carried up to three warheads at most.

RT-2PM Topol Intercontinental ballistic missile

The RT-2PM Topol is a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile designed in the Soviet Union and in service with Russia's Strategic Missile Troops. By the early 2020s, all SS-25 ICBMs will be replaced by versions of Topol-M.

RT-23 Molodets ICBM

The RT-23 Molodets was a cold-launched, three-stage, solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile developed and produced before 1991 by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau in Dnipro, Ukraine. It came in silo- and rail-based variants, and was armed with 10 MIRV warheads of 550 kt yield. All missiles were decommissioned by 2005 in accordance with the START II.


The UR-100N, also known as RS-18A is an intercontinental ballistic missile in service with Soviet and Russian Strategic Missile Troops. The missile was given the NATO reporting name SS-19 Stiletto and carries the industry designation 15A30.

RSM-56 Bulava SLBM

The RSM-56 Bulava is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) developed for the Russian Navy and deployed in 2013 on the new Borei class of ballistic missile nuclear submarines. It is intended as the future cornerstone of Russia's nuclear triad, and is the most expensive weapons project in the country. The weapon takes its name from bulava, a Russian word for mace.


Start-1 is a Russian satellite launch vehicle based on the RT-2PM Topol, a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile developed by Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology.

Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology Russian Engineering and Scientific Research Institute

Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology is a Russian engineering and scientific research institute founded on May 13, 1946. The institute is located in the Otradnoye District in the north of Moscow.

Kura Missile Test Range

Kura Missile Test Range, originally known as Kama, is a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile impact area located in northern Kamchatka Krai in the Russian Far East. It is the destination for ballistic missiles which are test fired from other centers, and was chosen due to its remoteness and distance. It is 130 kilometers (81 mi) northeast of the settlement of Klyuchi and the military townlet is called Klyuchi-1, after the nearest settlement.

RS-24 Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

The RS-24 Yars - modification 24) also known as RT-24 Yars or Topol'-MR is a Russian MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile first tested on May 29, 2007, after a secret military R&D project.

Aleksandr Nadiradze Soviet engineer (1914–1987)

Aleksandr Davidovich Nadiradze was a Soviet inventor, designer and engineer in the fields of aircraft and missile/rocket technology. He developed various missiles, bombs, shells and is considered "father" of the mobile ICBMs, having created the RT-21 Temp 2S (SS-16), RSD-10 Pioneer (SS-20) and the RT-2PM Topol (SS-25). More modern weapons such as the RT-2PM2 Topol-M and RS-24 are mostly based on Nadiradze's work as well.

The RS-26 Rubezh SS-X-31 or SS-X-29B, is a Russian solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile, equipped with a thermonuclear MIRV or MaRV payload. The missile is also intended to be capable of carrying the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle. The RS-26 is based on RS-24 Yars, and constitutes a shorter version of the RS-24 with one fewer stages. The development process of the RS-26 has been largely comparable to that of the SS-20 Saber, a shortened derivative of the SS-16 Sinner. Deployment of the RS-26 is speculated to have a similar strategic impact as the SS-20.

The RS-27 (?) or SS-X-32Zh (?) Barguzin BZhRK (БЖРК) Project is a rail-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) under development for the Russian RVSN, as a replacement of the previous railway missile train Molodets BZhRK SS-24 Scalpel. BZhRK stands for railway strategic missile train. The missile was expected to enter testing in 2019 and enter service in 2020.

The 3M22 Zircon also spelled as 3M22 Tsirkon is a scramjet powered maneuvering anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile currently in testing by Russia.

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile

The Kh-47M2 Kinzhal ("dagger") is a Russian nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM). It has a claimed range of more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi), Mach 10 speed, and an ability to perform evasive maneuvers at every stage of its flight. It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads and can be launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or MiG-31K interceptors. It has been deployed at airbases in Russia's Southern Military District.

Avangard (hypersonic glide vehicle) Russian Hypersonic glide vehicle

The Avangard is a Russian hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) that can be carried as a MIRV payload by the UR-100UTTKh, R-36M2 and RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBMs. It can deliver both nuclear and conventional payloads.


  1. "RS-28 Sarmat". Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  2. "Global Security Newswire – Russia Reportedly Approves Production of New Liquid-Fueled ICBM". 1 June 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  3. "Army 2019: Russian army discloses RS-28 Sarmat ICBM characteristics". Army Recognition. 2 July 2019.
  4. 1 2 Новую тяжелую ракету "Сармат" будут делать в Красноярске Rossiyskaya Gazeta , 2 Feb 2015.
  5. "Key facts about Russia's advanced Sarmat ICBM system". TASS (in Russian). Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  6. Kristensen, Hans M.; Korda, Matt (4 March 2019). "Russian nuclear forces, 2019". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 75 (2): 73–84. Bibcode:2019BuAtS..75b..73K. doi: 10.1080/00963402.2019.1580891 .
  7. "Russia's Nuclear Weapons: Doctrine, Forces, and Modernization" (PDF). 2 January 2020. p. 14. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  8. "Перспективная тяжелая МБР РС-28 / ОКР Сармат, ракета 15А28 - SS-X-30 (проект) - MilitaryRussia.Ru — отечественная военная техника (после 1945г.)".
  9. 1 2 3 "Sarmatian ICBM & FOBS Reintroduction". Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  10. В обойме – «Сармат», «Кинжал», «Авангард»...: interview by deputy defence minister Yuriy Borisov,, 12 March 2018.
  11. "Here's The Six Super Weapons Putin Unveiled During Fiery Address". 1 March 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  12. "Delivery of new Russian-made Sarmat RS-28 ICBM ballistic missile will begin in 2021 | February 2020 Global Defense Security army news industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2020 | Archive News year".
  13. Podvig, Pavel (25 February 2014). "Sarmat ICBM to be ready by 2020". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  14. 1 2 "Минобороны рассказало о тяжелой баллистической ракете - неуязвимом для ПРО ответе США". 31 May 2014.
  15. "Russia Fast Tracking "Unique" Missile". The Moscow Times. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  16. "Russian Program to Build World's Biggest Intercontinental Missile Delayed". The Moscow Times. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  17. Начало испытаний новой ракеты «Сармат» отложено, 26 June 2015.
  18. Ракета "Сармат" взлетит в 2016 году, 16 September 2015.
  19. "Испытания тяжелой стратегической ракеты "Сармат" начнутся в ближайшее время". 10 August 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  20. "Russia's Deadliest Nuke Program Faces Delays". The Diplomat. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  21. "В России успешно прошло первое бросковое испытание прототипа ракеты "Сармат"". Moskovskij Komsomolets . Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  22. Podvig, Pavel (29 December 2017). "Sarmat ejection test, at last". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  23. Russia begins tests of promising Sarmat missile complex TASS, 2 March 2018.
  24. Источник сообщил об утечке по ракетам "Сармат" специально для США‍ RIA Novosti, 3 March 2018.
  25. "Испытания комплекса "Сармат" планируется завершить в 2021 году - Национальный центр управления обороной РФ" (in Russian). Interfax . Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  26. Litovkin, Nikolai (2 March 2018). "Which new weapons has Putin given Russia?".
  27. "Испытания новейшей российской ядерной ракеты стартуют в начале года" (in Russian). 29 October 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  28. "SS-30 ?? / R-X-? Sarmat New Heavy ICBM". Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  29. "Russia plans new ICBM to replace Cold War 'Satan' missile". Reuters. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  30. Majumdar, Dave (12 March 2018). "Russia's Most Lethal Nuclear Missile Ever Will "Enter Duty in the Near Future"".
  31. 1 2 Majumdar, Dave (1 March 2018). "Russia's Nuclear Weapons Buildup Is Aimed at Beating U.S. Missile Defenses".
  32. "Russia's Most Lethal Nuclear Missile Ever Will "Enter Duty in the Near Future"".
  33. Trevithick, Joseph. "Russia Fires Topol Ballistic Missile to Test New Tech to Defeat Missile Defense Systems".
  34. "Mozyr active defense complex (KAZ)". . Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  35. "New Russian Sarmat and Rubezh ICBM missiles able to defeat all deployed anti-missile systems". 25 February 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  36. "Последний рубеж ПРО вооружат стрелами и шариками" (in Russian). Izvestia. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  37. "В ожидании "Сармата"" (in Russian). Vzglyad. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  38. "Защита шахтных пусковых установок МБР от высокоточного оружия" (in Russian). 27 April 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  39. "Министерство обороны возобновляет испытания комплекса активной защиты от ракет и высокоточного оружия с перспективными поражающими элементами" (in Russian). 11 December 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2019.