MOSCOW, April 5 (RIA Novosti) – The state tests of a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will begin in 2014, a former Russian military commander said.
Russia announced the development of a new ICBM to replace the existing Topol-M and Yars missiles in 2012. If the tests are successful, it could be commissioned as early as in 2015.
“The state tests of the missile have been scheduled for 2014,” Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin (Ret.), who served as chief of staff of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) in 1991-93, told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
The general added that the preliminary tests of the missile were underway, but refused to provide details on its performance characteristics.
According to open sources, the SMF currently operates at least 58 silo-based SS-18 Satan ballistic missiles, 160 road-mobile Topol (SS-25 Sickle) missile systems, 50 silo-based and 18 road-mobile Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle B) systems, and 18 RS-24 Yars systems.
Two missile divisions have been fully rearmed with Topol-M and Yars systems, while the rearmament of three more divisions will start later this year, according to SMF.
The SMF will also deploy in the near future a new automated battle management system (ASBU), which will allow rapid retargeting of ICBMs.