Russia Test Fires New Upgraded Anti-Ballistic Missile from Sary-Shagan test site

The Russian military successfully tested an upgraded interceptor missile of the Russian A-135 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) system at the Sary-Shagan training ground in Kazakhstan, TASS reported citing Russian newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda.

The test firing was conducted by the Russian Aerospace Forces’s (VKS) air and missile defense combat crew. “We have successfully test fired a new upgraded air defense missile,” Krasnaya Zvezda quoted Andrei Prikhodko, the deputy commander of Aerospace Forces’ air and missile defense task force, as saying.

“The missile’s tactical and technical characteristics regarding the range, precision and operational lifetime are significantly higher compared to present-day weapons,” Prikhodko said.

The new upgraded air defense missile is capable of intercepting single and multiple strikes, including with the use of new generation intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), he added.

A-135 anti-ballistic missile system

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.

It became operational during 1995. It is a successor to the previous A-35, and complies with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty or ABMT).

A-135 consists of the Don-2N battle management radar and two types of ABM missiles. 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.

The A-135 system attained “alert” (operational) status on February 17, 1995.

Russia has currently deployed 68 launchers of short-range 53T6 (NATO: SH-08 ‘Gazelle’) endoatmospheric interceptor nuclear-tipped missiles at five launch sites with 12 or 16 missiles each. Designed by NPO Novator, similar to US Sprint missile. These are tested roughly annually at the Sary Shagan test site.

The system 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.

The system’s 51T6 (NATO reporting name: SH-11) component was deactivated in February 2007.

The successor system, dubbed ‘Samolet-M’ (and more recently A-235) supposedly will employ a new, conventional, variant of the 53T6 missile to be deployed in the former 51T6 silos.

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