Russia will conduct the final test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile in December, the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union, also known as TASS, reported Thursday, citing a source in the country’s defense industry.
According to the report, the last test of the solid propellant inter-continental ballistic missile, RS-26, also called “Avangard and Rubezh,” has been scheduled for sometime in December. The new ballistic missile was created on the basis of the RS-24 Yars missile, which can reportedly carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads and was first tested in May 2007. At the time, the test was publicized as a response to a missile shield that the U.S. was planning to deploy in Europe.
“The testing is not over yet. According to the current plans the new missile is to enter duty in 2015. In December, there will be the final launch to be followed by a decision in favor of serial manufacturing,” the source told TASS.
The new RS-26 missile, which is said to be equipped with improved combat capabilities and multiple warheads, will be lighter than the RS-24 Yars and launched from a mobile surface vehicle, Colonel Sergey Karakayev, commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, said, according to TASS.
Russia is also said to be considering reviving Soviet-era nuclear missile trains as part of an effort to revamp the country’s nuclear arsenal. An anonymous source told TASS that the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, which produces the Topol, Yars and Bulava missiles, is developing a next-generation missile launching train.
“While the decision to start manufacturing [missile trains] is still pending, the probability is high that it will happen… In the best-case scenario, they will be deployed by the end of the decade, probably somewhere around 2019,” the source told TASS, adding that technical studies and cost estimates are yet to be made.
Reports also said Thursday that Russia would test-fire a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile from the Alexander Nevsky, a nuclear-powered submarine, on Sunday, in the Barents Sea on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East.