The road-mobile SS-25 missile was fired from a test range at Kapustin Yar in southern Russia to an impact zone in Sary Shagan in neighboring Kazakhstan.
“‘The purpose of the launch was to test a prospective warhead of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” the official Interfax news agency quoted Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Yegorov as saying.
The RIA Novosti news agency said the test was used to develop a “new combat payload for future ICBMs.”
No additional details were provided by the Russians.
Defense analysts say the latest test highlights Moscow’s strategic nuclear modernization program and raises concerns about Russia’s earlier threats to develop missile defense-defeating warheads in response to U.S. and NATO defenses in Europe.
Former Pentagon official Mark Schneider, who monitors Russian strategic military developments, said the Russians have said the new follow-on SS-27 ICBM and the new SS-NX-32 submarine-launched ballistic missile, known as the Bulava, will be equipped with advancedwarheads — up to 10 warheads per missile.
A Russian intercontinental ballistic missile designer, Yuri Solomonov, also has said the new strategic missiles will be equipped with multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles without a “bus” — a component that normally coordinates the firing of multiple warheads.
Russia, along with China, is developing ultra-high-speed, hypersonic vehicles for launch atop missiles. Hypersonic vehicles, both powered and glide weapons, are designed to travel at the edge of space and are being built to defeat U.S. missile defenses.
The National Air and Space Intelligence Center stated in a report last year that Russia is working on a new class of hypersonic vehicle designed to “allow Russian strategic missiles to penetrate missile defense systems.”
The missile test followed a nuclear forces exercise this month that Russian officials described as “massive.”to read more: washingtontimes.com
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