Russia is planning to conduct the drop test of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile this year and a test launch by 2017, according to ITAR-TASS.
The new 100-ton missile is expected to enter service in 2020, and is likely to replace the Cold-War era R-36 missile.
The drop test is to measure the missile’s lift and proper evolution through its launch stages before they do a full test launch, provided that the missile performs.
A Russian defense industry official was quoted as saying by TASS on Thursday that drop tests checks the missile’s separate stages. "This is done on a special stand to check the missile’s lift capacity".
The Sarmat could deliver up to 10 heavy nuclear warheads or 15 medium warheads at targets up to 6,200 miles away, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
The missile would carry the warheads into suborbital flight, at which point they would separate and hit independent targets.
Pravda.Ru recently reported that the new intercontinental ballistic missile would be capable of overcoming almost any missile defense system. Russia's new missile is a response to the American Prompt Global Strike. The latter stipulates for the creation of systems to strike a non-nuclear blow anywhere in the world within hours after making the decision.