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Russia’s rail-based ICBM effectiveness equal to missile force division

December 18, 2013, 12:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The final decision on the completion of the railway-based ICBM has not been made yet

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© ITAR-TASS/Artiom Korotaev

MOSCOW, December 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The new railway-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system the development of which is currently underway in Russia, is planned to be equipped with solid-propellant multiple-warhead ICBM, created on the basis of the Yars ICBM, Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN), Colonel General Sergei Karakayev told reporters on Wednesday.

“The missile (for equipping the railway-based ICBM) is planned to be solid-propellant with a multiple warhead, on the basis of Yars. It is the modification of the missile armament range weighing 47 tonnes. For comparison: the old railway-based ICBM missile weighed 110 tonnes,” Karakayev said. He recalled that a car of the Soviet railway-based ICBM had differed considerably from the refrigerator rail car in which the system was disguised.

“It was longer, heavier and had more sets of wheels. No matter how it was hidden, if the railway-based ICBM system was staying at a station, any expert could tell that it was not a train for the national economy,” the commander added.

Karakayev said that today the system could be disguised as a refrigerator car with the length of 24 metres, with the missile length of 22.5 metres. “That is, it (the missile) can easily be put into a conventional rail refrigerator car, and there is no need in adding mote sets of wheels, as it has the permissible axle weight and it can move on any route,” the commander said.

The Soviet railway-based ICBM was withdrawn from operational status in 2005 under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that was signed in January 1993 by RF President Boris Yeltsin and U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Its successor - new START-3 Treaty does not prohibit the creation of missile systems, including the railway-based ICBM.

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