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Russia delays demonstrating new RS-26 ballistic missile to US inspectors till 2016

November 18, 2015, 10:59 UTC+3

The US side has been notified of this decision and has taken note of it, a source says

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Russian Defense Ministry

Russian Defense Ministry

© Sergei Karpov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. The demonstration of Russia’s newest RS-26 Rubezh ballistic missile to US inspectors has been delayed until next year, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry told TASS on Wednesday.

"By decision of the Defense Ministry, the demonstration of our new intercontinental ballistic missile RS-26 to a group of US inspectors has been rescheduled from November 2015 to 2016 and the new time schedule of the demonstration has not yet been determined," the source said.

"The US side has been notified of this decision and has taken note of it," the source said.

According to the source, as the missile will be demonstrated at the Votkinsk machine-building enterprise in Udmurtia in the Urals in compliance with the new START Treaty on strategic offensive arms reduction and limitation, the US side will get "certain data" on its technical characteristics, which make it different from the existing Yars and Topol-M missiles.

In addition, the Russian side will also give US inspectors photos of the RS-26 missile, if it receives a relevant request. Finally, the US inspectors will be able to examine and measure the missile but they won’t be allowed to touch it or make video footage of it and they also won’t see the missile launcher.

Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) announced a tender in spring for organizing the demonstration of the RS-26 missile to US inspectors. Over 11 million rubles ($178,000) were planned to be allocated for this event, including organizing the trip of the US inspectors and accompanying Russian officials, providing food, accommodation and souvenirs.

The RS-26 solid-propellant ballistic missile codenamed Rubezh is based on the RS-24 missile. The RS-26 is expected to be lighter than the Yars missile and will carry a multiple warhead (the Yars missile is equipped only with one warhead).

The RS-26 will be launched only from mobile systems as it has no silo-based version. The missile is expected to come into service with the Irkutsk missile division of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force in 2016.

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