Vladimir Putin announced at a meeting with military college graduates Tuesday that Russia will commission the Sarmat Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) by the end of this year.
Putin unveiled the missile along with five other strategic weapons in 2018 in response to the US Missile Defense Program.
Russia carried out the missile’s first test in the middle of the Ukraine military operation in April, allowing Putin to warn off countries “who, in the heat of aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country.”
“This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure the security of Russia from external threats,” he declared.
The Sarmat is intended to replace the R-36M2 Voevoda Missile, which has been in service for the last five decades.
The 200-ton-missile, including a 10-ton payload, flies at a speed of 24,000 kilometers (14,913 miles) per hour and up to 18,000 kilometers (11,185 miles). It is capable of breaching existing and future missile defenses, Russian state media claimed.
Putin also announced commissioning the S-500 missile defense system, production of which began last year. Delivery of the system will begin in 2025.