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MOSCOW, November 24 (Itar-Tass) — The second regiment of the Yars mobile missile system equipped with the RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with multiple warhead will be put on combat duty at the Teikovo missile force (Ivanovo region) within the coming month.
Spokesman for the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) Colonel Vadim Koval told Itar-Tass on Thursday that “RVSN Commander Lieutenant-General Sergei Karakayev is arriving in the Teikovo formation today to control the process of the unit’s rearmament with new types of missile systems.”
“In 2011, the Teikovo missile force completed the rearmament with the Yars advanced system of the first missile regiment,” Koval recalled. “This year, equipment has been received and works organised to prepare the second missile regiment of the Teikovo force for rearmament with the Yars system, which by the end of the year is expected to be put on combat duty within two missile divisions.”
The solid-fuelled RS-24 ICBM designed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology “has the ability to overcome both the existing and emerging missile defence systems,” said Koval.
“The RVSN rearmament with the Yars missile system with the RS-24 ICBM will strengthen the combat capabilities of the RVSN strike force to overcome missile defence systems, which will strengthen the nuclear deterrent potential of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces,” Koval said. “In the future, together with the already adopted for service RS12M2 single-warhead ICBM (Topol-M) the SS-24 ICBM will form the basis of the RVSN strike group.”
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev noted on Wednesday in a special televised address that as one of response measures to the deployment of the US missile shield near the RF borders, Russia intends to equip with advanced anti-missile defence systems and new highly efficient warheads “the strategic ballistic missiles that are adopted for service with the RVSN and Navy.” In his address to Russian citizens Medvedev said he wanted to report on Russia’s return measures to creating missile defence in Europe.
President Medvedev said: “First. On my instruction the Russian Defence Ministry will immediately put into operation a radar station in the Kaliningrad region to prevent missile attacks.” “Second. Within creating Russia’s aerospace defence system we will ensure protection of strategic nuclear forces.” “Third. Russia will equip missiles in the Strategic Rocket Forces and the Navy with missile defence penetration systems. Due to the US plans to continue the missile defence construction in Europe, strategic ballistic missiles, which become operational in the Strategic Rocket Forces and the Navy, will be equipped with missile defence penetration systems and new high-efficiency units.”
“Fourth. The Armed Forces will be set the task to work out measures to destroy information and management missile defence systems,” Medvedev said. “These measures are adequate, effective and need minor costs,” the president said. If other measures are insufficient, the Russian Federation will deploy contemporary strike systems [for example, the Iskander systems] in the west and south in order to prevent fire damage from US missile defence deployed in Europe,” Medvedev said.“If necessary, we will take other measures to counter European missile defence,” Medvedev pointed out.
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 publicised 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 first tested by a launch from a mobile launcher at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in north-western Russia at 11:20 GMT, May 29th, 2007 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 the chief designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, Yuri Solomonov, announced that the RS-24 is an enhanced, MIRVed 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 Teykovo in 2009. On March 17, 2009 General Solovtsov announced that the first regiment of RS-24 ICBMs would 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 rocket forces, the first six RS-24 missiles will be mobile.
Further on October 10, 2009, General Andrei Shvaichenko, the new RVSN 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 were deployed by the end of 2010 and 3 more mobile missile systems were deployed in July 2011 and then the first regiment was operational.