Defense Ministry: Launched Topol ICBM hits target in Kamchatka

A joint launch crew of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (RVSN) and Aerospace Defense Forces have carried out a successful combat training launch of a Topol RS-12M intercontinental ballistic missile from Plesetsk, RVSN spokesman Col. Vadim Koval told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

"The purpose of the launch was to confirm stability of Topol missiles' flight and technical characteristics under the plan to extend their service life to 24 years and to assess the possibility of extending the missiles' service life to 25 years. The warhead hit the target with a high accuracy over the Kura military ground in Kamchatka," Koval said.

Topol missile systems constitute the backbone of the Strategic Rocket Forces' strike component. They are highly viable due to their maneuverability, stealth capability and short pre-launch deployment time.

Koval said that the RVSN, jointly with developer companies, are working to fulfill the president's order to use these missile systems to the maximum by extending their service life. The missiles' current service life has far exceeded the initially set ten years.

The planned extension of the Topol missile systems' service life with minimal financial outlays will ensure the aging missiles' step-by-step replacement with new-generation ones without putting strain on the military budget.

The forecast estimate of the Topol missile systems' reliability and technical condition suggests that their service life can be extended even further, Koval said.

RVSN Commander Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev earlier said that the extension of Topol missiles' service life to 25 years will maintain the combat readiness of Topol missile regiments until 2019, pending the RVSN's switch to new Yars mobile land-based missile systems.

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