First successful test firing of Sarmat, the latest Russian ballistic missile

(Moscow) The Russian military on Wednesday announced the first successful test firing of the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new-generation ultra-long-range weapon that President Vladimir Putin described as “unprecedented.”

Posted at 12:47 p.m

“It is truly a unique weapon that increases the military potential of our armed forces, protects Russia from external threats and makes those who try to threaten our country with wild and aggressive rhetoric think twice,” Mr Putin said.

“I emphasize that only assemblies, components and parts of national manufacture were used for the creation of Sarmat,” he added during a televised announcement.

According to Putin, the fifth-generation Sarmat heavy ICBM is capable of “outsmarting all modern anti-aircraft systems.”

In a video, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the shot took place at 3:12 p.m. from the Plesetsk launch pad in the northwestern Arkhangelsk region.

According to this source, the missile then hit a target at another military site, that of Kura in Russia’s Far East’s Kamchatka Peninsula, more than 5,000 kilometers away, as planned.

“After the end of the test program, the Sarmat will join the Russian Strategic Armed Forces,” Konashenkov added. “Strategic” forces, by their broad definition, are specifically designed to intervene in the event of nuclear war.

The Pentagon assured that the Russian launch of a Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile was a “routine” test and posed no “threat” to the United States or its allies.

Moscow has “duly notified” Washington of the conduct of the test, in accordance with its obligations under the nuclear treaties, and it therefore comes as no “surprise” to the US Secretary of Defense, his spokesman John Kirby added.

The Sarmat bears the name of a nomadic people who lived in ancient times around the Black Sea between what is now Russia and Ukraine.

This new weapon is part of a series of other missiles presented by Vladimir Putin as “invincible” in 2018. There are also the Kinjal (“Dagger”) and Avangard hypersonic missiles.

In March, Moscow claimed to have used the Kinjal for the first time against targets in Ukraine.

Weighing over 200 tons, the Sarmat is expected to surpass its predecessor – the Voevoda missile with a range of 11,000 km.

In 2019, Mr Putin claimed that the Sarmat had “virtually no range limitation” and was capable of “aiming at targets crossing both the North Pole and the South Pole”.

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