Thu, December 24, 2009
Sci-Tech > Science

Russia test-launches RS-20V intercontinental missile

2009-12-24 11:23:13 GMT2009-12-24 19:23:13 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MOSCOW, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) successfully test-launched an RS-20V heavy intercontinental ballistic missile Thursday, said a Defense Ministry spokesman.

The missile was launched at 09:30 Moscow time (0630 GMT) from a site in the southern Ural region of Orenburg. It accurately hit the target on the Kamchatka Peninsula of the Far East region, said the spokesman Vadim Koval.

Designed to test the missile's performance with extended service, the launch has proven the stability of the RS-20V's technological structure, and its readiness to perform combat duties, Koval said.

The missile has been in operation for more than 21 years, the spokesman added.

The RS-20V missile, usually referred to as SS-18 Satan by the West, is currently the world's most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile.

With a maximum range of 11,000 km and a launch mass of 211 tons, the missile is armed with a warhead fitting 10 multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles.

Russia's storage of the RS-20V missile is estimated at around 100, all in extended service.

The SMF commander Andrei Shvaichenko said earlier that the missile will remain in service until 2019, and by 2016 Russia will develop a replacement for it.

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