Russia is preparing to test-launch its new generation of nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which it has claimed will be able to penetrate the US’ defensive shield. Delayed several times, the tests of the RS-28’s launch and first few seconds of flight are to be carried out at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, in Russia’s north-west, before the end of the year. The trials had been postponed because launch silos and the projectiles themselves were not ready, according to the state-controlled Sputnik

website, which cited the Kommersant newspaper. The RS-28 Sarmat, a 100-plus-ton ICBM that government-controlled media has claimed could destroy an area the size of Texas, is designed to evade missile defenses with multiple hypersonic warheads, known as MIRVs. Talking up its capabilities, state-linked Russian sites have claimed an 11,000km range, a payload of up to 15 warheads and the ability to “speed past every missile defense system in existence”. READ MORE