Sarmat nuclear missile construction schedule slips again

The schedule for the development of Russia’s flagship  Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile looks to have slipped again, despite  an unnamed source telling  the TASS news agency that tests due to start in 2016. The agency is now also reporting that there have been production delays and that there is as yet no sign of a working prototype.  
The production team at the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau that is responsible for its development has already missed two deadlines this year; in February, Deputy Defence Minister Yury Borisov said that tests would begin in mid-2015, but by June officials were anonymously telling TASS that the missile was only 60% complete and that it would not be ready until mid October. That deadline now also appears unrealistic.
Scheduled to come into service in 2018, the RS-28 Sarmat SS-X-30 is a liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped, super-heavy thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying up to 10 heavy nuclear warheads and which will also be equipped with equipment designed to confuse missile defence systems. It is intended as a replacement for the SS-18 Satan intercontinental ballistic missile and is being promoted as Russia’s answer to the US’s Prompt Global Strike system.