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Russian Topol missile strikes target in Kazakhstan

05 march 2014, 19:20
Topol rocket. ©Reuters
Topol rocket. ©Reuters
Russian military forces have successfully fired a Topol RT-12M intercontinental ballistic missile from Kapustin Yar military site in Astrakhan Oblast to Kazakstan, Tengrinews reports citing Russia-24 Channel.

The launch was made on March 4, 2014 at 10:10 p.m. Moscow time. The warhead of the missile stroke the training target at Sary-Shagan range in Kazakhstan (located to the north-west from Balkhash Lake in Betpak-Dala desert in Karaganda Oblast and Zhambyl Oblast). The range is rented by Russia from Kazakhstan for military use.

The Defense Ministry of Russia said that the goal of the exercises was to check the combat readiness of the intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Western media has pointed out that the test launch coincided with escalation of tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine, where the Crimean peninsula has been put under de facto control by Kremlin-backed troops.

However, Russia notified the U.S. government that the ICBM launch was a routine scheduled "before the crisis started in Ukraine," a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

Topol RT-12M is one of the most recent intercontinental ballistic missiles developed in Russia. It is a cold-launched, three-stage, solid-propellant, silo-based or road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile. Topol-M carries a single warhead with a 800 kt yield, but the design is compatible with MIRV warheads and the missile can carry four to six warheads along with decoys. Its minimum range is estimated to be 2,000 km and the maximum range 10,500 km. It is reputed to have the highest accuracy of any Russian ICBM with a CEP of 200m.

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