Vladimir Putin’s state is believed to be carrying out three tests of the deadly hypersonic “Satan-2” intercontinental ballistic missiles this year. The nuclear weapon is set to go into service next year and is the biggest weapon in Mr Putin’s modernised arsenal.
A defence source told the Russian state news agency, TASS: “Three launches of the Sarmat ICBM will be carried out as part of flight development tests in 2021.”
According to reports, the weapons will be launched from an underground silo at Plesetek space centre in northwestern Russia.
It will hit targets in Kamchatka on the country’s Pacific coast and one test is likely to be at a range of 11,200 miles.
According to another source, the first of the three tests are expected in the third quarter of this year.
Moscow has boasted the new weapon can even evade the US’ defence shield and has the capability of destroying an area the size of England and Wales.
TASS reported: “The Defence Ministry is already purchasing serially produced missiles.”
Russia has previously said they were planning on conducting flight tests after successful missile ejection and drop tests.
These new missiles will replace the R-36M2 Voevoda missiles, which were seen as the most powerful in the world and have been in operation since the 1970s.
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This terrifying news comes as tensions between Moscow and Ukraine have escalated following a build-up of Russian troops along the border and clashes in eastern Ukraine between the army and pro-Russian separatists.
According to reports, British warships will sail for the Black Sea this month in a bid to show solidarity with Ukraine and Britain’s NATO allies.
The Sunday Times reported one Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate will leave the Royal Navy’s carrier task group.
RAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters will also stand ready on HMS Queen Elizabeth.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The UK and our international allies are unwavering in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Last month, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed Washington’s support for Kiev’s pro-Western government.
He urged Russia to “de-escalate tensions” but also offered to hold his first face-to-face talk with Mr Putin on “the full range of issues facing the US and Russia”.
Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian parliament’s upper house, said the conversation was a “very important step forward”.