The new missile, called the RS-18 Sarmat, has a range of 6,200 miles. Moscow has announced that a flight test of the new missile is imminent. The missile ejection tests – where it releases the warheads – have so far been completed with positive results.
The missile can carry ten large nuclear warheads or 16 smaller ones.
These warheads are thermonuclear weapons, meaning they use nuclear fusion rather than the nuclear fission used in atomic bombs.
Known as Hydrogen bombs, they have a much greater destructive capacity than the nuclear bombs dropped by the US on Nagasaki and Hiroshima towards the end of World War Two.
The missile weighs 100 tons and each nuclear warhead carried by it can be aimed at a different target.
The news comes after Russia reported its development of a new hypersonic intercontinental missile in December.
Vladimir Putin has branded the development of the new hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles a breakthrough, comparable to the 1957 Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite.
Russia’s new missiles will become part of the arsenal of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces in 2022.
Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu spoke to the military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda to explain that a flight test of the new R-18 Sarmat missile would happen in a matter of days.
He said: “I would like to note that today the Sarmat missile ejection tests have been completed with a positive result.
“In the near future, we will begin flight tests of this missile system.”
About the hypersonic capabilities of Russia’s new missiles, the nation’s deputy defence minister Alexey Krivoruchko said: “By virtue of its capabilities, no missile defence weapon, even the most advanced, can hinder it.”
Moscow has announced there will be a testing range for the Sarmat flight trials created in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk Territory.
The Sarmat missile will enter combat duty by 2022 with the nation’s Strategic Missile Forces.
Russia’s defence minister said: “At present, defence industry enterprises continue to get ready for state flight trials of the Sarmat ICBM system.
“It is scheduled to enter combat duty in 2020.
“Work on the Sarmat proceeds actively, and is now at the final state”.