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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia successfully test launches Topol ICBM

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, December 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia successfully test launched a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday, a spokesman for the Strategic Missile Forces said.

Col. Vadim Koval said a RS-12M Topol missile was launched from the Kapustin Yar test site in south Russia's Astrakhan Region, and hit the designated target in Sary-Shagan, Kazakhstan.

He said the launch was designed to test the operational capability of the Topol ICBM.

The missile was in active service from 1987 until 2007, and deployed with the 54th Strategic Missile Division near the town of Teikovo, about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Moscow.

The RS-12M Topol (SS-25 Sickle) is a single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile, approximately the same size and shape as the U.S. Minuteman ICBM. The first Topol missiles were put into service in 1985.

The missile has a maximum range of 10,000 km (6,125 miles) and can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of 550 kilotons.

Although the service life of the SS-25 was extended after a series of successful test launches last year, the missile will be progressively retired over the next decade and replaced by mobile Topol-M (SS-27 Stalin) missile systems.

Russia's SMF reportedly has a total of 541 ICBMs, including 306 Topol missiles and 59 Topol-M missiles.

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