The Strategic Rocket Forces have made the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile RS-12M "Topol", RIA Novosti reported. The rocket stood 20 years on duty, the launch was made as part of the extension of service "Topol". The missile was launched from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region, and its educational and warhead hit the target conditional on the Kura test site in Kamchatka. The launch was considered a success.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense of Russia, Colonel Vadim Koval, the launch of "Topol" was made at 10:45, Moscow time, Yoshkar-Ola compounds Strategic Missile and Space Forces. Proven rocket left the assembly line in 1987, and by July 2007 was on duty in Tagil missile formation. In addition to assessing the stability of the performance of the launch of the "Topol", whose service had previously been extended to 24 years, were also evaluated the possibility of extending the service life of ICBMs to 25 years.
"Poplar" is the basis of the Strategic Missile Forces groups. The service life of missiles of this type have already exceeded the initial warranty period, which was defined by companies in ten years. RS-12M missile was developed in the 1970s, the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. "Poplars" adopted by the armed Soviet Union and then Russia since 1988. Currently on active duty are about 210 missiles "Topol".
The three-stage rocket "Topol" has a length of 22.7 meters and a diameter of 1.8 meters. The maximum range of the RS-12M is ten thousand kilometers. The missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead capacity of 550 kilotons and weighing up to a ton. The missiles were produced in two versions — mine and mobile-based MAZ-7310 and MAZ-7917. Since 1997 is a gradual replacement of the RS-12M advanced RS-12M2 "Topol-M". It is planned to replace all of the mobile "Topol-M", the new RS-24 "Yars", but purchasing and production for duty RS-12M2 silo-based missiles will be continued in the future.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the gradual extension of the service life of the missile enables smooth replacement of delivery vehicles and warheads without a significant burden on the budget. The planned launches of various strategic missiles as part of life extension in Russia are carried out annually. In particular, it is currently planned to extend the service life of missiles RS-18 (UR-100N UTTH) up to 35-36 years. Ballistic missile R-36M2 "Governor" will last until 2026.