Russia Successfully Test Launches Upgraded Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

News Brief — Dec 26, 2014

RS-24 launch. Click to enlarge

RS-24 launch. Click to enlarge

Russia successfully test launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from the Plesetsk Space Complex in the country’s northwest on Friday.
According to Col. Yegorov, a spokesman for the country’s Strategic Arms Forces, the dummy warheads used during the test launch “were tasked to hit targets at the Kura Range on the Kamchatka Peninsula,” a distance of nearly 10,000 kilometres.
The RS-24 Yars (SS-29), is thought to have an operational range of 12,000 kilometres (7,500 miles) with an accuracy of between 150 to 250 metres.
Introduced into service in July 2010, the RS-24 can carry multiple warheads, which can be independently targeted.
The Yars is designed to evade missile defense systems and can carry up to ten nuclear warheads.
According to Yegorov, the main goals of Friday’s test launch were to confirm the operational reliability of missiles, as well as to test the combat and performance characteristics of the system itself.
“The adoption of the RS-24 ICBM with multiple re-entry warheads has increased the combat capabilities of the Strategic Missile Forces assault group to overcome missile defense systems, thus strengthening the nuclear deterrent of Russian strategic nuclear forces,” Col. Yegorov said.
Although Col Yegorov didn’t say as much, implicit in Friday’s test launch was a warning to the West .
Although spending on Russian armed forces declined dramatically in the wake of the break up of the Soviet Union, and although that affected the country’s military readiness, recent years have seen a reversal in that trend.
Funded by oil revenues, President Putin has overseen a revitalising of Russia’s military power. Aging weapons from the Cold War are being replaced by state-of- the-art hardware, which in many cases are more than a match for their counterparts in the Western arsenal.
In addition to new upgraded equipment and more modern weapons, Putin has also embarked on reforms in the armed forces to overhaul the military’s command and control apparatus to create a more mobile and effective fighting force.
In other words Russia is still a formidable military power and apart from testing the operational readiness of the RS-24, Friday launch was also meant to signal that Russia is not to be messed with.
Will Washington take heed? Somehow we think not. We suspect its has already been decided that the next major military conflict will see a direct confrontation between Russia and America and their allies.

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