Russia Conducts Test Launch of Its New Anti-Ballistic Missile Interceptor

The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) air and missile defense combat crew successfully conducted a test launch of an upgraded interceptor missile of the A-135 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system at the Sary-Shagan training ground in Kazakhstan.

The commander of the anti-missile defense system of the VKS, Colonel Sergei Grabchuk, during the events, stated that “after a series of tests, the new antimissile missile defense system reliably confirmed the characteristics set and successfully completed the task, hitting the conventional target with a given accuracy”.

The test is reportedly the sixth test of the new interceptor, usually referred to as 53T6M.

The missile defense system is in service with the Aerospace Forces and is designed to protect the city of Moscow from aerial attacks, as well as performing missile early warning and space monitoring missions.

A-135 (NATO: ABM-3) anti-ballistic missile system is a Russian military complex deployed around Moscow to counter enemy missiles targeting the city or its surrounding areas. The A-135 system attained “alert” (operational) status on February 17, 1995.

The system is a successor to the previous A-35, and complies with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty or ABMT).

The A-135 system consists of the Don-2N battle management radar and two types of ABM missiles, one short-range and one long-range. It gets its data from the wider Russian early warning system which is sent to the command centre which then forwards tracking data to the Don-2N radar.

It is operated by the 9th Division of Anti-Missile Defence, part of the Air Defence and Missile Defence Command of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces (now called Russian Aerospace Forces).

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