Russia test fires missileDecember 24th, 2009 - 4:48 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Dec 24 (RIA Novosti) Russia successfully test fired a heavy missile capable of carrying 10 warheads Thursday morning, a defence ministry spokesman said.
“The Strategic Missile Forces launched an intercontinental ballistic missile RS-20V (Voyevoda) from a site in the Orenburg region (southern Urals),” Col. Vadim Koval said.
Koval said the missile hit the targets on Kamchatka, Far East.
He said the launch was designed to test the missile’s performance with the aim of
extending its service life to 25 years.
Introduced almost 21 years ago, the missile will remain in service until 2019, the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) commander said earlier this year.
Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said Russia is developing a new ICBM comparable to the SS-18, and would gradually decommission older versions of the missile “in order to ensure nuclear safety”.
The missile is armed with a warhead fitting 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) with a yield of 550 to 750 kilotons each. It has a maximum range of 11,000 km with a launch mass of over 210 tons and a payload of 8.8 tons.
According to publicly available information, Russia currently has 88 SS-18 missile silo launchers, most of them deployed at the Dombarovsky missile base in the Orenburg region.
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