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Russia successfully tests short-range missile interceptor

RIA Novosti

11/10/2007 15:07 MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has successfully test-fired a short-range anti-ballistic missile at a test site in Kazakhstan, a Space Forces spokesman said Thursday.

"A combined team of the Space Forces, the Sary Shagan testing site and industry officials fired a short-range interceptor missile at a target missile," Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin said.

He said the launch had been conducted to assess the possibility of extending of the service life of interceptor missiles on combat duty around Moscow.

According to some reports, at least 68 short-range A-135 interceptors (NATO reporting name Gazelle) are currently deployed in the Moscow missile defense system to protect radars and strategically important infrastructure.

The Gazelle, with an effective range of up to 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) is similar in design and mission to the U.S. Sprint missile of the U.S. Safeguard system.

The Sary Shagan testing site on the west bank of Lake Balkhash has been operational since October 1958. In recent years, the Russian Strategic Missile Forces conducted tests of six anti-missile systems, 12 air defense systems, seven types of missile interceptors, 12 types of ground-to-air missiles and 18 radars at the site.

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