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Russia developing new ICBMs capable of overcoming US missile shield — commander

May 10, 11:10 UTC+3
According to the official, threats from the US missile defense system in Europe do not critically reduce combat capabilities of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces
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MOSCOW, May 10. /TASS/. Russia is developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with special attention paid to their ability to penetrate the US missile shield, Russia’s Strategic Missile Force (SMF) Commander Sergey Karakayev said on Tuesday.

Russia is currently carrying out active work on improving its means of overcoming the missile shield, he said.

"This is conditioned by the fact that the United States is not stopping after what it has achieved and continues improving its missile defense system, including the deployment of its elements in Europe. That is why, special attention in the development of new missile complexes is paid to the issue of overcoming the missile shield," Karakayev said.

Capabilities of Russian ballistic missiles increase "by reducing ICBM’s acceleration section, introducing new types of warheads with the flight path that is difficult to predict and new means of overcoming the missile defense system," Karakayev went on. Russian missiles are also capable of delivering warheads via energy optimal trajectory and of striking from multiple directions, "which forces the opposing side to ensure perimeter missile defense," he concluded.

"This is achieved both through the ICBM’s shorter acceleration phase and new types of warheads with a hard-to-predict flight trajectory and new means of overcoming the missile shield," the commander said.

According to the official, threats from the US missile defense system in Europe do not critically reduce combat capabilities of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces because Russian missiles are constantly upgraded.

"Threats from the European segment of missile defense system for SMF are limited and do not critically reduce combat capabilities of SMF," Karakayev said.

Strategic Missile Forces to have equal number of mobile, stationary ICBM launchers by 2021

Kartakayev said that Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces will have an equal number of stationary and mobile ground ICBM launchers by 2021.

"Considering the ratios of stationary and mobile groupings of the Strategic Missile Forces, it can be noted that at the turn of 2021, the quantitative indicators of these groupings will come to equal each other. However, the capabilities of the stationary grouping will continue to be higher due to the availability of heavy missiles," the commander said.

Yars missile systems to make half of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces

The official has also noted that the Yars missile systems will make up half of the total effective combat strength of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces by 2021.

"By late 2021, the Yars missile system will make up about half of the SMF effective combat strength," he said.

According to him, practically all the mobile land-based missile divisions will be rearmed with this system, and the Tatishchevo (partly) and Kozelsk missile divisions will get the silo-based version of the Yars system.

"The Yars missile system will form the basis of the forces’ mobile grouping. The SMF rearming with this system will offset the forces’ effective combat strength cuts at the turn of 2021 due to the forced decommissioning of the Topol mobile ground missile system the operating life of which will expire by the time, he said.

According to him, a large number of combat equipment versions of the new missile systems Yars in conjunction with modern antimissile defense suppression systems installed on them will considerably improve capabilities of the advanced mobile grouping.

Previously, Strategic Missile Force commander’s aide, Colonel General Viktor Yesin said that it is planned to fully equip all missile divisions of the Strategic Missile Forces with the Yars and Yars-M mobile ground missile systems with the RS-26 missile in 2021.

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.

No new major test sites 

Karakayev has also pointed out that there are no plans for creating any more major test sites for ICBMs, but the emergence of mobile test facilities is a possibility.

"Of late, there was a boom in the development of systems monitoring the tests of our missiles and special weapons, which allow for tracking the entire flight path of the delivery vehicles and warheads. This does not suit us for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, there are no immediate plans for creating more major test sites," he said.

Karakayev said progress in digital information technologies, measurement means and the testing base allowed for the creation of re-deployable test complexes.

"Moreover, the legal and regulatory base will allow the Strategic Missile Force to alienate for certain periods of time and use new required areas where dummy warheads might fall. Moreover, economically this is more feasible," he said.

Russia’s strategic missile force to have 70% of advanced weapons by 2018

According to Karakayev, the share of the strategic missile force’s advanced hardware will reach 70% by 2018.

"The successful implementation of rearmament measures will build up the share of advanced missile complexes from 56% this year to 70% by January 1, 2018 and to 100% by 2022," he said.

Karakayev said that the pace of the strategic missile force’s rearmament was established with due regard for the emergence of new types of missiles defenses, the withdrawal of previous generation inter-continental ballistic missiles from operation, compliance with international contracts and the capabilities of Russia’s arms manufacturing industry.

"In any case, the priority task of all rearmament plans is to guarantee the strategic missile force’s capability to cope with diversified nuclear deterrence tasks," Karakayev said.

Sarmat, Voyevoda heavy ICBM to four times excel light-class missiles

Tactical effectiveness of the grouping of the Voyevoda and Sarmat heavy stationary intercontinental ballistic missiles is four times higher than that of the light-class Topol-M and Yars stationary missiles, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) Colonel General Sergei Karakayev told journalists on Tuesday.

"The performance of the stationary grouping of the heavy ICBM (of the Voyevoda or Sarmat class) will four times surpass that of the stationary grouping of the light-class ICBM (Topol-M, Yars) by all the RVSN grouping tactical effectiveness parameters," he said.

The RS-28 Sarmat is the state-of-the-art heavy liquid-propelled ICBM currently being developed for the Russian army.It is designed to replace the old Soviet R-36M missiles Voyevoda, codenamed Satan by NATO, as the heavy silo-based component of Russia's nuclear deterrence. The RS-28 has been in development since 2009 and is scheduled to start replacing the old ICBMs in 2018.

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