Russia test-fires RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile

The Russian Strategic Missile Forces test-launched a RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from the Kapustin Yar range in the Astrakhan Region near the border with Kazakhstan, the Defense Ministry said.

“During the tests, specialists obtained experimental data that will be used in the interests of developing effective means of overcoming anti-ballistic missile defense and equipping the perspective grouping of Russian ballistic missiles with them,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, according to TASS news agency.

“The launch was aimed at testing perspective armament for intercontinental ballistic missiles. The test courses and the measuring systems at the Kapustin Yar practice range allow testing perspective armament capable of overcoming ABM defenses, including their future configuration, across the entire range of the conditions for the armament’s delivery to targets in the interests of the Strategic Missile Force and the Navy,” the Defense Ministry added.

RS-12M Topol

The RS-12M Topol (NATO reporting name SS-25 Sickle) is a single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile, which entered service in 1985.

The RT-2 is a road-mobile 3-stage, single warhead ICBM. Its 29.5 meter length and 1.7 meter diameter are approximately the same size and shape as the U.S. Minuteman ICBM. It has a throw-weight of 1000 kg and can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 550 kilotons.

The ICBM has a maximum range of 10,000 km (6,125 miles and circular error probability (CEP) of 200 m.

U.S. Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center estimates that as of June 2017 about 100 launchers were operationally deployed.

The Topol is replaced by the road-mobile version of the Topol-M missile. A new missile loosely based on Topol-M and equipped with multiple re-entry vehicles (MIRV) is called RS-24 Yars. It is believed that since 2010 no more RT-2PM2 Topol-M missiles have been purchased in favor of the newest RS-24 Yars.

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