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MOSCOW, September 26 (Itar-Tass) — The second missile regiment armed with the land-based mobile missile system Yars will be put on combat duty before the end of 2011 at the Teikovo missile formation, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) Lieutenant-General Sergei Karakayev told reporters on Monday.
He recalled that the Teikovo missile formation (Ivanovo region) completed the transition of the first in the RF Armed Forces regiment to this new missile system. “On March 4 the missile regiment took up combat duty in two divisions, and from August 5 – in full staff with three divisions,” the commander stressed. At present, he said, “the retraining of personnel of another missile regiment that is planned for rearmament with the Yars system continues.”
Compared to its predecessor - the Topol (Poplar) missile system – the Yars land-based mobile missile system is equipped with the RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile that has considerably better combat and operational capabilities. Thus, the Yars system is better protected from technical reconnaissance equipment of the potential enemy and their combat equipment is adapted to fulfil the tasks of missile defence.
According to Karakayev, “The adoption for service of the RS-24 missile will strengthen the combat capabilities of the RVSN strike group to overcome missile defence systems that will strengthen the nuclear deterrent potential of the Russian strategic nuclear forces.”
The RS-24 missile with separable warhead was designed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. It was created with the scientific, technical and technological solutions used in the Topol-M missile system, which significantly reduced the time and of the research and development. This missile will replace the RS-18 and RS-20 missiles with multiple warheads. According to the RF Defence Ministry plans, by the end of this year about 30 mobile launchers of the Topol-M and Yars systems will be put on combat duty in the Teikovo force.
The Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (Federal State Unitary Enterprise) is a Russian (and former Soviet) scientific research institute that was founded on May 13, 1946. The institute is located in the Otradnoye District in the north of Moscow. Previously, it was primarily focused on developing ballistic missiles and rockets to increase the nation’s strategic deterrent capability. Today it is also involved in civilian projects and has modified some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles into launch vehicles to be used for satellites. In July 2009 the institute's General Director and Chief designer Yuri Solomonov resigned after the 11th test launch failure of Bulava naval-based ICBM designed by MITT. The launch took place on July 15 and Solomonov resigned as General Director 6 days later - on 21st of July.
The RS-24 Yars is a Russian MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile first tested on May 29, 2007 after a secret military R&D project, to replace the older R-36 and UR-100N that have been already used almost for 50 years. RS-24 is a missile that is heavier than the current Topol-M (which can carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads). The 2007 tests were publicized as a response to the missile shield that the United States were planning to deploy in Europe. RS-24 is deployed operationally since 2010.
Purported by the Russian government as being designed to defeat present and potential anti-missile systems, the ICBM was launched from a mobile launcher at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in north-western Russia and its test warheads landed on target about 5,750 km (3,600 mi) away at the Kura Test Range in Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.
The second launch from Plesetsk to Kura Test Range was conducted on December 25, 2007 at 13:10 GMT. It successfully reached its destination. The third successful launch from the Plesetsk space centre in northwest Russia was conducted on November 26, 2008 at 13:20 GMT. The missile’s multiple re-entry vehicles successfully landed on targets on the Kura testing range.
Neither the development nor deployment of RS-24 is likely to be threatened by the enforcement of the New START treaty.
In June 2008, chief designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology Yuri Solomonov announced that the RS-24 is an enhanced, MIRV development of the Topol-M missile that would finish all testing in 2008 and most likely be deployed in 2009. According to General Nikolai Solovtsov, the commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, the first RS-24 missiles would be deployed in Teikovo in 2009.
On March 17, 2009 General Solovtsov announced that the first regiment of RS-24 ICBMs will be put in to service in December 2009 when START-1 is set to expire. He later repeated that statement on May 7. According to the Russian missile forces, the first six RS-24 missiles will be mobile. Further on October 10, 2009, General Andrei Shvaichenko, the new SRF commander, confirmed the December 2009 deployment of the RS-24 which will support the existing Topol-M (RS-12М2) missile complex. Testing for the new-generation ICBM was completed in mid-July 2010, and the first missiles were deployed shortly after on July 19.
In December 2010 the missile division in Teikovo received its second delivery of RS-24 missile systems. In total 6 missiles are deployed by the end of 2010. Three more mobile missile systems were deployed in July 2011 and then the first regiment was operational.