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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia test-fires Voyevoda ICBM

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia successfully test-launched a Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) missile capable of carrying 10 warheads on Thursday morning, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

"The Strategic Missile Forces launched an intercontinental ballistic missile RS-20V (Voyevoda) from a site in the Orenburg region [southern Urals]," Col. Vadim Koval said.

Koval said the missile hit the targets in Russia's Far East Kamchatka Peninsula.

He said the launch was designed to test the missile's performance with the aim of extending its service life to 25 years.

Introduced almost 21 years ago, the missile will remain in service until 2019, the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) commander said earlier this year.

Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said Russia is developing a new ICBM comparable to the SS-18, and would gradually decommission older versions of the missile "in order to ensure nuclear safety."

The missile is armed with a warhead fitting 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) with a yield of 550 to 750 kilotons each. It has a maximum range of 11,000 km (6,800 miles) with a launch mass of over 210 tons and a payload of 8.8 tons.

According to publicly available sources, Russia currently has 88 SS-18 missile silo launchers, most of them deployed at the Dombarovsky missile base in the Orenburg Region.

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