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‘Missile defense killer’: Russia finalizes testing on prototype ICBM

  Published time: June 08, 2013 14:08                                                                            

The high-speed lift of the Topol missile launching. (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Rodionov)The high-speed lift of the Topol missile launching. (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Rodionov)

Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces have reported a successful launch of a next-generation ICBM that can supposedly pierce any anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system. The test came after the US announced it would resume its ABM program in Europe.

The test missile launched from a mobile pad at 9:45pm (17:45 GMT)  on Thursday, the Defense Ministry said Friday. The test was  carried out in the Astrakhan region, deep inside Russian  territory, and the prototype’s payload successfully hit the  Balkhash range in Kazakhstan.

“The test launch was a success as the [simulated] warhead hit  a designated target within the set timeframe,” the Russian  Defense Ministry statement said. “This test launch was  intended to confirm technical characteristics of the missile, as  well as to check the safety of the launch procedures and  equipment.”

Tactical training exercises of Air Defense Forces at Kapustin Yar range. Troops prepare the anti-aircraft missile system S-300V to detect and destroy air targets. (RIA Novosti / Kirill Braga)Tactical training exercises of Air Defense Forces at Kapustin Yar range. Troops prepare the anti-aircraft missile system S-300V to detect and destroy air targets. (RIA Novosti / Kirill Braga)

 

The launch was the third successful test of the prototype ICBM.  The development of a new solid-fuel ICBM was officially announced  in 2012, and is set to gradually replace the existing Topol-M and  later the recently developed Yars missile complex. Strategic  Missile Forces expect to finalize testing by the end of 2013 and  put the new missile into production in 2014.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin welcomed the test,  calling the new ICBM a “missile defense killer… Neither  current nor future American missile defense systems will be able  to prevent that missile from hitting a target dead on.”

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. (RIA Novosti / Sergey Mamontov)Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. (RIA Novosti / Sergey Mamontov)

 

Russia maintains at least 58 silo-based Soviet-made P36M (‘SS-18  Satan’ NATO classification) ballistic missiles, believed to be  the most powerful in the world with up to 10 megaton-class  warheads. The Strategic Missile Forces have 160 mobile Topol-M  (‘SS-25 Sickle’) missile systems, 50 silo-based and 18  road-mobile Topol-M (‘SS-27 Sickle B’) systems, and 18 RS-24 Yars  systems.

In recent years, two missile divisions were rearmed with the  newest Topol-M and Yars systems, and more will follow in 2013.  The Defense Ministry is also preparing to introduce the latest  automated battle management system (ASBU), enabling rapid  retargeting of ICBMs.

Russia sped up development of new intercontinental ballistic  missile systems after the US announced plans to continue  deploying its missile defense system in Eastern Europe, near  Russian borders.

Tactical exercises of the Air Defense Forces at Kapustin Yar range. Anti-aircraft S-300V missile system. (RIA Novosti / Kirill Braga)Tactical exercises of the Air Defense Forces at Kapustin Yar range. Anti-aircraft S-300V missile system. (RIA Novosti / Kirill Braga)

 

The issue of the US missile shield in Europe has become a major  stumbling block in Russia-US relations. Moscow has demanded legal  guarantees from Washington that missile defense systems deployed  in Europe would not target Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrence  capabilities. But Washington refused, citing a need to protect  Europe from ‘rogue states’ like Iran and North Korea.

In mid-March of 2013, Washington attempted to engage Moscow in  new talks about further nuclear arms reduction, after presidents  Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev agreed to reduce their nuclear  stocks with the New START arms reduction treaty. The US said it  would no longer deploy SM-3 IIB ballistic missile interceptors in  Poland until 2022.

Nevertheless, Moscow still demands legally binding guarantees  from Washington that the system’s intentions are peaceful.

On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Polish  Foreign Minister, and committed to deploy missile defenses in  Poland by 2018 as planned. “We are on track to deploy a  missile defense site in Poland by 2018 as part of NATO’s  modernized approach to our security,” Kerry said.

http://rt.com/news/missile-defense-killer-prototype-411/

 

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