The Russian military has carried out a combat training launch of its RS-24 Yars solid-fuel, mobile, land-based, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), equipped with multiple warheads, on Feb. 6.
The ICBM was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome state test site at 11.31 am Moscow Time. The Plesetsk Cosmodrome is a Russian ICBM lauch site located in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast, about 800 km north of Moscow. The missile landed on target about 5,750 km (3,573 mi) away at the Kura training ground. Kura Missile Test Range, originally known as Kama, is a Russian ICBM impact area located in northern Kamchatka Krai in the Russian Far East.
The objectives of the exercises were fulfilled, the Russian Ministry of Defence said in a statement. The purpose of the launch was to check tactical, technical and flight characteristics of the modern missile system, the statement added.
The RS-24 Yars (NATO reporting name: SS-29 or SS-27 Mod 2), also known as RT-24 Yars or Topol-MR, is a Russian MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
The missile was first tested on May 29, 2007, after a secret military R&D project, to replace the older R-36 and UR-100N that have been in use for nearly 50 years. It is essentially the same missile as the Mod 1 version Topol-M (SS-27 Mod 1) except the payload “bus” has been modified to carry multiple independently targetable warheads (MIRV). Each missile is thought to be able to carry up to 4 warheads, although there is uncertainty about what the maximum capacity is.
RS-24 has been deployed operationally since 2010, with more than 50 launchers operational as of June 2017.