Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the annual Volunteer of Russia 2017 award ceremony at the Megasport Sport Palace in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. Putin has moved an inch closer to announcing his intention to seek re-election in the next March’s vote, saying he would weigh the move based on public support.(Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Putin Announces Start of Active Phase of New Sarmat Missile System Tests

MOSCOW, March 1 (Sputnik) – The active phase of testing of the new Russian missile system with heavy intercontinental missile Sarmat has started, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

“We have started the development of the new generation of missiles. Particularly, the Defence Ministry together with the organizations of the aerospace industry has started an active phase of tests of the new missile system with a heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, which is called Sarmat​​​. This missile system will substitute the Voevoda system, which was created in the Soviet Union,” Putin said during his annual address to the parliament.

“[The Sarmat missile’s] weight is 200 tonnes. It has a short active flight phase, which complicates its interception by the anti-missile equipment,” Putin continued.

The president added that it would be possible to equip the new missile with nuclear warheads, including hypersonic ones.

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