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Prototype of new RS-26 ICBM to be shown to US side by year end

April 20, 2015, 18:27 UTC+3
The RS-26 missile, also known as Rubezh, was created on the RS-24 Yars ICBM basis
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RS-24 Yars

RS-24 Yars

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. A prototype of the RS-26 new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will be demonstrated to the American side within the framework of the implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-3), says tender documentation posted by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) on the public procurement website on Monday.

"Ensure demonstration of the new-type RS-26 ICBM to the American side at the ICBM production facility — Votkinsk Machine Building Plant," the document says.

This work will be done by the Center for Ground-Based Space Infrastructure Facilities Operation — the winner of the tender, according to the Roscosmos commission’s decision announced on Monday. The Space Agency will allocate for these purposes more than 11 million roubles. The contact is valid until November 25, 2015.

The Center’s specialists "are to organise a visit of a US inspection group accompanied by Russian experts who will arrive for the RS-26 prototype demonstration, including accommodation and meals, transport, communication, souvenirs and, if necessary, medical and other services," the document says.

The RS-26 missile, also known as Rubezh, was created on the RS-24 Yars ICBM basis. The new upgraded missile will have a multiple warhead and is expected to be lighter than Yars. The RS-26 ICMBs will be only mobile launched, as no silo basing is envisaged for them.

According to previous reports, the RS-26 missile is to be put on combat duty already in 2015. A source in the Russian General Staff told TASS that the Irkutsk Guards Missile Formation in Siberia will be the first to receive the new ICBM.

Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) Colonel General Sergei Karakayev said in late 2014 that the new missile would have lower mass than Yars. "We always say that we need to reduce the size (of missile systems). Speaking of the Yars land-based mobile missile system, to date, its launcher weighs more than 120 tonnes. We will make the improved missile’s weight characteristics under 80 tonnes," said the commander.

"By improving the rocket fuel component, a solid fuel component, we are creating a new missile system, which we can deploy also on different soils and in different positioning areas. You understand that it has a better off-road capability and it is smaller in size, so its combat survivability will be higher, and it will require less camouflaging facilities," Karakayev said. "We will not put it in silos, as it’s a land-based mobile missile system," he added.

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