Military Official: Russia Successfully Tests New Missile

Posted on: May 23, 2012 at 23:50
Russia on Wednesday staged the first successful test-launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of breaching defense systems now being developed by NATO, a military spokesman said.

The announcement came less than a week after NATO formally activated the first stage of a missile defense shield whose deployment Russia has bitterly opposed out of fears that it may target its own vast nuclear arsenal.

''The dummy warhead reached its target area at the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The set goals of the launch were reached,'' Interfax quoted Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces spokesman Vadim Koval as saying.

A military source told the agency that the launch was only the second ever conducted on the missile.

The source said the first failed on September 27 when the missile suffered an undisclosed malfunction and crashed only 10 kilometers (six miles) from the launch site.

Various sources told the agency that the new missile was better equipped to penetrate the new U.S.-backed missile defense system in Europe whose first stage NATO official activated at its Chicago summit next week.

The Russian missile ''uses a new type of fuel that helps reduce the time required to operate the propellants in the active stage of the rocket's trajectory,'' one military source said.

Russian officials believe this makes the missile more difficult to detect and easier to maneuver.

Interfax said the weapon is also equipped with maneuverable individual warheads that can change course to avoid being shot down.

Source:Agence France Presse
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