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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

53T6 Gazelle
Moscow System

The 53T6 [NATO reporting name GAZELLE] is a short-range ABM interceptor missile, which was first introduced in the mid-1980s, was designed to intercept ballistic missile reentry vehicles inside the atmosphere. The missile, which has not been displayed in public, is thought to be similar in design and mission to the US Sprint interceptor that was part of the Sentinel/Safeguard system. On 02 November 1999 Russia tested this short-range interceptor rocket for the Moscow anti-ballistic missile system, in what appeared to be a symbolic warning to the United States not to go ahead with an expanded ABM system.

The 51?6 high altitude interceptors have been removed from active service, and if one or several missiles have been launched as a provocation, to intercept any warheads with unknown fuses or even the ones having no fuses the remaining 53T6 with nuclear warheads would create multiple nuclear explosions over the Russian territory which has long been unacceptable.


Russian missile designation: 53T6
Russian system designation: A-135
DIA temporary code: SH-08
DIA code: ABM-3
NATO reporting name: Gazelle
Designer: Toporkov OKB (OKB-134, now Vympel NPO)(?)
Manufacturer: Kisunko SKB (SKB-30, now NIIRP)
Development year: ?
Deployment year: 1984
First seen in public: ?
Retirement year: Still operational
Type: Endo-atmospheric (lower-tier) interceptor
Guidance: Radar command
Propulsion: Two solid-fueled stages
Range: 80 km.
Warhead: Nuclear (10 kt)

Sources and Methods

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