Faster than Sound. Missiles in 2022

Over the years, strategists and top managers planned to launch new projects in 2022. The time is coming, and we want to remember what was going to be built, demonstrated, and launched in 2022. And most importantly, to understand how realistic the forecasts turned out to be.

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The commissioning of the Sarmat missile system was supposed to be one of the main events of the year. Colonel-General Sergei Karakaev, commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, announced two years ago.

Later, Dmitry Kornev expert and publishing author of the New Defence Order. Strategy clarified:

State tests should take place in 2022 and by the end of the same year the missiles will be on combat duty. There may be several factors that would affect the time of starting flight tests: engines supply delay, leading to the unavailability of missiles; lack of the test infrastructure at the Plesetsk test site and along the flight path of the missile to the Kura test site in Kamchatka; possible improvements to the design of the missile and the silo launcher based on the results of pop-up tests.

The forecast turned out to be accurate: the first test launch of the ICBM was postponed from December 2021 to the first quarter of 2022.

The rest of the plans related to the operation of the latest liquid-fueled heavy intercontinental ballistic missile hopefully will also, hopefully, be implemented on time.

"The completed regiment will be on combat duty in 2023-2024, while the complete re-equipment of the division in Uzhur with Sarmat missiles will not occur until 2025," Kornev predicts.

The Tsirkon (AKA: Zircon) hypersonic missile is nothing short of world-famous as well. It is believed that the first launches of its prototype from the Tu-22M3 aircraft were carried out at the Akhtubinsk test site in 2012,  and by 2015 Tsirkon was ready for flight tests.

At the end of last year, Sergei Shoigu said: "The tests of the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile are being completed. Its serial deliveries will begin next year."

The date remains unchanged - 2022. However, experts of the Nuclear Threat Initiative  (NTI), are suspicious of the statements of Russian officials. According to skeptics, most of the announced test dates for a new intercontinental ballistic missile, three hypersonic delivery systems, as well as two nuclear-fueled systems will not be met. The main reasons for not meeting the deadlines will be the shortage of carbon fiber and frequent incidents at defense

e industry enterprises. The NTI list also mentions "Sarmat", and "Zircon", which, according to the NGO, will not be delivered to the Russian army at all until 2025.

The coming year will show whether it is worth listening to NTI or not.

The Russian Ministry of Defence calls the small-sized hypersonic missile Ostrota an important element of non-nuclear deterrence. The long-range Tu-22M3 bombers and operational-tactical Su-34 bombers are planned to be equipped with Ostrota in the future. Tests of this missile are scheduled for 2022. The Gremlin, which is another compact hypersonic missile, with a longer range than that of Ostrota, will be tested in 2023.

But the main events will happen even later. In 2024, the implementation of a new state armament program will begin. According to Yuri Borisov, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, precision-guided munitions will be one of the three main components of the program, the other two are new physical principles weapons and AI-based weapons.

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