June 7, 2013 - 09:59 AMT
Russia testing new intercontinental ballistic missile

The Russian Strategic Missile Forces have tested a prototype of a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Defense Ministry said, according to RIA Novosti.

The test launch was carried out at 09.45 pm Moscow time (17:45 GMT) on Thursday, June 6 from the Kapustin Yar testing site in the Astrakhan region. The missile was fired from a mobile launcher, the ministry said in a statement.

“The test launch was a success as the [simulated] warhead hit a designated target within the set time frame,” the statement said. “This test launch was intended to confirm technical characteristics of the missile, as well as to check the safety of the launch procedures and equipment,” the document said.

Russia announced the development of a new solid-fuel ICBM, which will eventually replace the existing Topol-M and Yars missiles, in 2012.

At least three test launches have been carried out previously in line with the testing program, and the new missile could be put into service by the end of this year, the SMF earlier said.

According to open sources, the SMF currently operates at least 58 silo-based SS-18 Satan ballistic missiles, 160 road-mobile Topol (SS-25 Sickle) missile systems, 50 silo-based and 18 road-mobile Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle B) systems, and 18 RS-24 Yars systems.

Two missile divisions have been fully rearmed with Topol-M and Yars systems, while the rearmament of three more divisions will start later this year, according to SMF.

The SMF will also deploy in the near future a new automated battle management system (ASBU), which will allow rapid retargeting of ICBMs.