Russia says it has performed the first successful test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile.
President Vladimir Putin said the nuclear-capable weapon would make Russia’s opponents “think twice” before harbouring any aggressive intentions.
The Pentagon said the test launch did not constitute “a threat” to the US or its allies.
US Department of Defence spokesman John Kirby said Moscow “appropriately informed” his country of the test — as it is bound to do so under international nuclear treaties — meaning it did not come as a “surprise”.
The Sarmat “is truly a unique weapon that will enhance the military potential of our armed forces, keep Russia safe from external threats and make those who try to threaten our country with wild and aggressive rhetoric think twice”, said Putin.
“I emphasise that only domestically manufactured assemblies, components and parts were used for the creation of Sarmat,” he added on a televised briefing with the Russian military.
Weighing over 200 tons, the fifth-generation Sarmat missile — which is known in the west as the Satan II — has a range of 11,000 km.
It is also capable of “outsmarting all modern anti-aircraft systems”, said Putin.
Wednesday’s test launch took place at 3:12 p.m. (14:12 CEST), with the missile hitting a mock target located more than 5,000 kilometres away.
It was fired from the Plesetsk launch facility in northern Russia and reached the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula.
Russia’s military described the test launch as a complete success, proving the missile’s characteristics “in all phases of its flight”.
In 2019, Mr Putin claimed the Sarmat had “virtually no limits when it came to range” and was able to “aim at targets crossing the North Pole as well as the South Pole”.
The Sarmat is part of a series of other Russian missiles presented in 2018 as “invincible” by Vladimir Putin. These include the Kinjal and Avangard hypersonic missiles.
In March, Moscow claimed to have used the Kinjal against targets in Ukraine for the first time.
Deployed by the Russian army, the hypersonic Kinjal missile – meaning dagger in Russian – allowed, Moscow claims, it to destroy an underground warehouse of armaments in the west of Ukraine.
Their use in Ukraine is a world-first for hypersonic weaponry, experts say.