Russia deploys new mobile Topol-M battalion on combat duty


File photo of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev standing in front of 'Topol-M' strategic missile at the Teikovo Strategic Missile division based in the Ivanovo Region, about 240 km northeast of Moscow. RIA Novosti

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia has deployed a missile battalion equipped with mobile Topol-M (SS-27 Stalin) ICBMs on combat duty in the central region, Russian Missile Forces (SMF) spokesman Col. Alexander Vovk said on Tuesday.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti said that the first two Topol-M mobile missile battalions, equipped with six road-mobile systems, had already been put on combat duty with the 54th Strategic Missile Division near the town of Teikovo, about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Moscow.

The agency quoted Col. Alexander Vovk as saying that another missile battalion equipped with mobile Topol-M missile systems and comprising three launchers and a command unit had been put on combat duty with the Teikovo missile division in the Ivanovo Region.

Meanwhile, the SMF commander, Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, said that the country’s Topol-M ballistic missiles would be put on combat duty on schedule despite the current global financial crisis. “The division will be up to full strength by 2010,” he said.

Media reports said that Topol-M missiles are the mainstay of the ground-based component of Russia's nuclear triad. At the beginning of this year, the SMF operated 50 silo-based and six road-mobile Topol-M missile systems.

Giving details, RIA Novosti said that the missile, with a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 km), is said to be immune to any current and future US ABM defence. It is capable of making evasive manoeuvers to avoid a kill using terminal phase interceptors, and carries targeting counter-measures and decoys. It is also shielded against radiation, electromagnetic pulse, nuclear blasts, and is designed to survive a hit from any form of laser technology, reports said.

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