Russia has test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) within 10 days, according to state-backed media.
The Russian Strategic Missile Force tested the Yars ICBM, firing it from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia. It was carried to the Kura target range in Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East, Russia Today reported.
The test was designed to confirm the reliability of the missile.
“A test launch of a Yoshkar-Ola missile division RS-24 Yars solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, equipped with a detachable warhead, arrived at the designated area on the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula at the state-owned Plesetsk Test Space Cosmodrome,” the Russian Defense Ministry told the TASS news agency. “All the tasks were fulfilled in full,” the ministry added.
This time, according to The National Interest, this particular test was carried out in conjunction with the Kremlin’s Zapad-2017 (or West-2017) wargames in Belarus.
“Russia has been conducting an annual large-scale exercise of its strategic forces in October, but this one appears to be linked to the large Zapad-2017 exercise that was completed today,” Russian nuclear expert Pavel Podvig wrote.
The first test was carried out on Sept. 12 from a missile silo in Plesetsk.
“The main purpose of the launch is to confirm the reliability of rockets of the same class. The warheads successfully reached their target – the Kura testing range in Kamchatka. All aims of the test were achieved,” said a statement from Russia’s Defense Ministry on Sept. 12, according to Russia-backed RT.com.
The RS-24 Yars can be equipped with three to six warheads, and it’s capable of hitting targets up to 7,500 miles away. Russia first tested the ICBM in May 2007, designed to replace older models like the R-36 and the UR-100N that have been used for decades.
A test of Russia’s new rocket, the RS-28 Sarmat, or “SATAN 2,” might be held in October, RT reported.
And in June, Russia tested its Bulava ICBM, launching it from a submarine—hitting the same target as the latest test.
In August, the United States successfully test-launched an ICBM—an unarmed Minuteman III missile—at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The test shows that the U.S. nuclear program is “safe, secure, effective and ready to be able to deter, detect and defend against attacks on the United States and its allies,” NBC reported at the time.
“These test launches require the highest degree of technical competence and commitment at every level,” Col. Michael Hough, the 30th Space Wing commander and launch decision authority, told NBC in a statement.