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Sat, Jan 05, 2008

Russia Conducts Second Test Of New ICBM

RS-24 To Replace Soviet-Era Missiles

Russia announced this week it successfully test-fired its new RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday... the latest display of that country's resurgent military strength, fueled by oil revenues.

The test is the second firing of the new missile, intended to replace Soviet-era ICBMs. Strategic Missile Forces spokesman Alexander Vovk told The Associated Press the RS-24 successfully hit targets on the Kura testing range, about 4,340 miles east of the Plesetek launch facility.

In an official statement, the Strategic Missile Forces said the missile was launched from a mobile launcher. Russia states the RS-24 is based on the Topol-M -- which is capable of hitting targets over 6,000 miles away -- but can carry multiple warheads.

As ANN reported, Russia conducted its first RS-24 test in May 2007. At the time, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov boasted the missile was "capable of overcoming any existing or future missile defense systems" -- a pointed swipe at the United States, which is working to develop such systems.

The language of the Strategic Missile Forces statement was even more to the point.

"The RS-24's deployment will strengthen the Strategic Missile Forces' capability to penetrate missile defense systems and strengthen the nuclear deterrent potential of Russia's strategic nuclear forces," the statement read. "The RS-24 will form the backbone of the Strategic Missile Forces and safely ensure the security of Russia and its allies through the mid-century."

The RS-24 is intended to replace Soviet-built RS-18 and RS-20 missiles.

FMI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Rocket_Forces

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