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MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russia’s Irkutsk missile formation in Siberia will make operational by the end of the year a regiment of the Yars missile system the delivery of which to the formation has begun, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service said in a statement received by TASS on Thursday.
"The division has started the rearmament with the new missile system Yars and by the end of the year the formation is to put on combat duty a missile regiment," the press service quoted Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) Sergey Karakayev.
The formation will also receive and make operational new drones. "Unmanned aerial vehicles will be supplied to the division within the framework of its rearmament," he said.
Karakayev arrived at the Irkutsk missile formation to monitor a command and staff exercise, during which robotic systems and drones were used to counteract imaginary saboteurs. The robotic systems are designed for reconnaissance in missile divisions’ deployment areas, provision of assistance to the personnel and for guarding and defending missile systems.
Overall, more than 4,000 troops and some 400 units of equipment are engaged in the exercise.
The RS-24 Yars is Russia’s new intercontinental ballistic missile. It is an improved version of the previous Topol-M. It is known in the West as SS-29. It uses the same 16x16 wheeled chassis as the Topol-M. Externally it looks similar. However it carries an improved, heavier missile. The Yars was developed both as a road-mobile and silo-based system, that would use the same missile. It was first tested in 2007 and was adopted by the Russian Strategic Missile Forces in 2010.