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Russian SMF's 2nd missile regiment to be deployed by '09-end

A file photo of Topol-M missile.

MOSCOW (BNS): A second combat regiment, equipped with Topol-M mobile missile systems, will join Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) by the end of 2009, the new SMF commander has said.

“We will complete the rearmament of the second missile regiment in the Teikovo division with mobile Topol-M systems,” Lt. Gen. Andrei Shvaichenko was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

The SMF is also planning to put in service the sixth regiment of silo-based Topol-M systems with the Tatishchevo Missile Division near Saratov in southwestern Russia in 2010, the official said.

The first Topol-M mobile missile regiment has been deployed with the 54th Strategic Missile Division near the town of Teikovo, about 240 km northeast of Moscow.

As of the beginning of 2009, the SMF has operated 50 silo-based and six road-mobile Topol-M missile systems, the report said.

Topol-M (NATO named SS-27 Stalin) Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles constitute the core of ground-based component of Russia's nuclear triad. Having a range of 11,000 km, they are capable of making evasive maneuvers to avoid a kill using terminal phase interceptors, and carry targeting counter-measures and decoys.

The SMF, at present, has six types of silo-based and mobile ICBM systems on combat duty. The arsenal includes the heavy Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) capable of carrying 10 warheads, and the Topol-M systems.

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