February 20 TASS news agency, citing an unnamed source in the defense industry, reported on the plans of the military department for further work on the PC-26 inter-continental missile "Frontier". It is reported that this year experts of the Strategic Missile Forces and industry are planning to conduct one test launch of the new Frontend missile. The date, venue and purpose of the launch have already been determined.
According to a TASS source, the new launch of the PC-26 rocket will take place in the second quarter of this year, but the exact date has not yet been named. It is alleged that the launch of the rocket will take place at the Kapustin Yar launch site, and the training goal, which it will have to hit, will be located at the Balkhash test site (Kazakhstan). The purpose of this test launch, according to the source, will be to check the operation of the combat equipment of the new rocket.
On the same day, TASS, citing an industry source, reported on the progress of another promising project being created in the interests of the Strategic Missile Forces. Work on the intercontinental rocket RS-28 "Sarmat" a bit delayed. For this year, the first throw-in tests of the prototype of the new rocket are planned, which must pass at the Plesetsk cosmodrome. It was originally planned that the first launch will take place in the first quarter of 2016, but now it had to be postponed to the second quarter.
TASS source clarified the reasons for the transfer of the beginning of the test. As it turned out, the silo launcher, which is planned to be used during the tests, is not yet ready to work. For testing, an existing launch shaft is proposed, which was to be repaired and upgraded to use the Sarmat rocket. The source of the news agency said that some units of the existing mine were previously considered to be workable, but an additional survey showed the impossibility of their use. In this regard, work began on the replacement of unserviceable components.
The source also noted some financing problems that may have an additional impact on the progress of work. At the same time, he stressed that the prototype PC-28 rocket itself, which is planned to be thrown out of the converted mine, has long been ready for the start of the test. Due to the existing problems, the first throwing tests of the Sarmat are moved to the second quarter of the current year. In addition, a shift in the start of flight test is expected. This phase of inspections will begin three to four months late from the initial schedule.
Despite all the difficulties inherent in new complex projects, work on the creation of new intercontinental ballistic missiles continues. At the same time, the Frontier project was already close to adopting and deploying full-fledged serial production, and the Sarmat rocket should be put to the test in the near future.
The aim of the new projects is to upgrade the armament of the Strategic Missile Forces. In particular, the Sarmat RS-28 rocket must replace the P-36M family of products that have been in service for several decades. PC-26 "Frontier", in turn, should complement the existing missile systems in the troops, equipped with mobile ground launchers.
The most recent test launch of the Rubezh missile took place on 18 March 2015. The rocket launched from the Kapustin Yar test site and successfully hit the training target at the Sary-Shagan test site. The tests were recognized as successful, which allowed us to talk about the early adoption of the missile in service and the deployment of new complexes in the Strategic Missile Forces. Already at the end of March last year, information appeared about plans to deploy "Frontiers" in 2016. Now the press has announced a planned new test launch to be held in the next few months.
According to reports last year, the design work on the Sarmat RS-28 rocket has already been completed, which made it possible to begin preparations for the tests. According to media reports, by the end of last fall, the assembly of the prototype of the rocket was completed, which will be used in throwing trials. The first launch launch was scheduled for March 2016 of the year. By the end of the summer it was supposed to begin flight design tests. In connection with the problems identified during the modernization of the silo launcher, the throwing tests shifted to the second quarter, and the flight design will begin three to four months later than the previously scheduled deadlines, i.e. fall or early winter of the current year.
Despite all the problems, the work continues, which will allow for the timely completion of all project phases and the adoption of new missiles for service. According to reports, this year the first PC-26 “Frontier” missiles should be transferred to the Strategic Missile Forces and deployed in positions. According to current plans, the Sarmat PC-28 missiles will go into series and begin service approximately in 2018 year. The current problems may lead to some changes in the schedule, however, they probably will not have fatal consequences for the project and will allow the rearmament of the strategic missile forces to continue.
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