Next test launch of RS-26 ICBM set for end of 2013 - source

Russia will continue testing a prototype of its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the near future, a space rocket industry source told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

Russia will continue testing a prototype of its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the near future, a space rocket industry source told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

"The next test launch of an RS-26 ICBM has been set for later this year. It will be conducted from the Kapustin Yar firing range [in Russia's southern Astrakhan region]," he said.

The source, however, refused to describe the features of this missile.

"It is a new missile. The Russian Foreign Ministry notified Americans of it in accordance with the existing procedures," he said.

The previous, fourth, test launch of the new ICBM prototype was carried out on June 6. During the first test launch, which was conducted from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region, the missile's first stage malfunctioned, causing the ICBM to crash a dozen meters from the launch pad, the source said.

Its two subsequent test launches - from Plesetsk on May 23, 2012 and Kapustin Yar on October 23, 2012 - were successful.

The new ICBM, which was designed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, is intended for use from mobile missile launchers.

The institute's previous developments including the Topol-M ICBM, the Yars ground-based missile and the Bulava sea-based missile.

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