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Russia Successfully Tests Intercontinental Missile

October 19, 2012

The Russian Defense Ministry says that an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has been successfully test-fired from Russia's northwestern military testing ground in Plesetsk and hit a target in the northeastern Kamchatka Peninsula.

According to the officials, the test-fire's goal was to check technical characteristics of the Topol RS-12M intercontinental ballistic missile, whose validity period has been prolonged from an initial 10 years to up to 24 years.

Ministry officials say that in future the validity of Topol missiles could be prolonged to up to 25 years.

The three-stage, solid-propellant Topol missiles, known in the West as SS-25 Sickle, were deployed in the Soviet Union in mid-1970s and remain the main missiles of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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