Russias newest Sarmat nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will be deployed by the end of 2022, President Vladimir Putin has said.
"We have successfully tested the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile. According to the plan, the first such system will enter combat duty at the end of the year," Putin said in an address to graduating cadets on Tuesday, RT reported. The Sarmat was test-fired in April.
The missile will replace the older Voyevoda systems, also known by the NATO reporting name, SS-18 Satan.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, said in April that the Sarmat, dubbed 'Satan 2', is the most powerful missile of its class in terms of range and warheads. It was designed to be "invincible" to all existing air defenses, he said, RT reported.
Rogozin added that Sarmats are much faster than Voyevodas and "can strike targets at virtually unlimited range".
Colonel General Sergey Karakayev, the commander of Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces, announced this month that modernization with top-notch combat-ready missiles, including the Sarmat and the Avangard hypersonic glide weapon, will reach 86% by the end of 2022.
Moscow's retaliation to Lithuania's transport "blockade" of Russia's Kaliningrad Region will seriously affect Lithuanian citizens, Nikolay Patrushev, the head of Russia's Security Council, has said.
"Of course, Russia will respond to hostile actions. Appropriate measures are in the works, and will be adopted in the near future," Patrushev told reporters during a trip to Kaliningrad on Tuesday, RT reported.
He added that the consequences of Moscow's response will "have a serious negative impact on the people of Lithuania".