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Russia test fires RS-24 ballistic missile

RS-24 missile was launched at 4:20 pm Moscow time (13:20 GMT) from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia. RIA Novosti photo

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia successfully tested a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile RS-24 bearing multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) warheads on Wednesday.

Addressing the media, Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) press service spokesperson Col Alexander Vovk said that all the warheads hit the designated areas at the Kura testing grounds on the Kamchatka peninsula. “All the tasks in the test have been accomplished,” Vovk said.

Russian agency RIA Novosti said that the RS-24 missile was launched at 4:20 pm Moscow time (13:20 GMT) from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia. The new test was aimed at obtaining data confirming the missile's technical characteristics and its readiness to enter service with the SMF.

As part of the secret R&D project, the RS-24 was first tested on May 29, 2007 and second time on December 25, the same year.

Last month, Russia's SMF commander, Col Gen Nikolai Solovtsov had announced that the RS-24 missile system would be inducted into service in 2009.

RIA Novosti quoted Gen. Solovtsov as saying that the RS-24 missile system would ‘strengthen Russia's nuclear deterrence’ including its capability to penetrate missile defence shields, and also counter elements of a US missile defence system that may be deployed in central Europe.

The news agency said that the RS-24 ICBM would replace the older SS-18 and SS-19 missiles by 2050. It is also expected to greatly strengthen the SMF's strike capability, as well as that of its allies until the mid-21st century.

The missile will be deployed both in silos and on mobile platforms and together with the Topol-M single-warhead ICBM will constitute the core of Russia's SMF in the future, RIA Novosti quoted Solovtsov as saying.

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