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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

New mobile Topol-M battalion put on combat duty in Russia

RIA Novosti

10/03/2009 17:08 MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti) - A missile battalion equipped with mobile Topol-M (SS-27 Stalin) ICBMs has been put on combat duty in central Russia, a spokesman for the Russian Missile Forces (SMF) said on Tuesday.

The first two Topol-M mobile missile battalions, equipped with six road-mobile systems, had already been put on combat duty with the 54th Strategic Missile Division near the town of Teikovo, about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Moscow.

"Another missile battalion equipped with mobile Topol-M missile systems and comprising three launchers and a command unit has been put on combat duty with the Teikovo missile division in the Ivanovo Region," Col. Alexander Vovk said.

The SMF commander, Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, earlier said that Russia's Topol-M ballistic missiles would be put on combat duty on schedule despite the current global financial crisis. He added that the division will be up to full strength by 2010.

Topol-M missiles are the mainstay of the ground-based component of Russia's nuclear triad. As of the beginning of 2009, the SMF operated 50 silo-based and six road-mobile Topol-M missile systems.

The missile, with a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 km), is said to be immune to any current and future U.S. ABM defense. It is capable of making evasive maneuvers to avoid a kill using terminal phase interceptors, and carries targeting countermeasures and decoys.

It is also shielded against radiation, electromagnetic pulse, nuclear blasts, and is designed to survive a hit from any form of laser technology.

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