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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia test-launches new-generation RS-24 ballistic missile

RIA Novosti

26/11/2008 18:14 MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia successfully test launched on Wednesday a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile bearing multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warheads.

"All the warheads hit the designated areas at the Kura testing grounds on the Kamchatka peninsula. All the tasks in the test have been accomplished," a spokesman for the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) press service said.

The RS-24 missile was launched at 4:20 p.m. Moscow time (13:20 GMT) from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia.

The new test was aimed at obtaining data confirming the missile's technical characteristics and its readiness to enter service with the SMF.

The RS-24 was first tested on May 29, 2007 after a secret military R&D project, and then again on December 25, 2007.

The commander of Russia's SMF, Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, said in October that the RS-24 missile system would enter service in 2009.

He also said the new system would "strengthen Russia's nuclear deterrence," including its capability to penetrate missile defense shields, and would also counter elements of a U.S. missile defense system that may be deployed in central Europe.

The RS-24 ICBM, which will replace the older SS-18 and SS-19 missiles by 2050, is expected to greatly strengthen the SMF's strike capability, as well as that of its allies until the mid-21st century.

The missile will be deployed both in silos and on mobile platforms and together with the Topol-M single-warhead ICBM will constitute the core of Russia's SMF in the future, Solovtsov said.

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