Kostroma/Kapustin Yar (Astrakhan Region): The commander-in-chief of the land forces of the Russian Armed Forces, General Alexei Maslov, said Wednesday that Russia had "a 21st century weapon." His comment was made following two successful missile tests by Russia on Tuesday.
The RS-24 is the newest ICBM that will replace the obsolete RS-18 (Stiletto) and the RS-20 (Satan) in the Strategic Nuclear Forces of Russia.
Meanwhile, first deputy prime minister of Russia, Sergei Ivanov, said that Russia had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple independent warheads (MIRVs). He also said that the armed forces had successfully conducted a "preliminary" test of a tactical cruise missile as well, which could fly farther than existing, similar weapons.
"As of today, Russia has new tactical and strategic complexes that are capable of overcoming any existing or future missile defense systems," the ITAR-Tass news agency quoted Ivanov as saying. "So in terms of defense and security, Russians can look calmly to the country's future." This was a veiled reference to US plans to place part of its missile shield in central Europe, notably Poland and the Czech Republic.
The RS-24 MIRV intercontinental missile was launched in the central part of the country at Kostroma, and a advanced version of the Iskander (SS-26), theater-level, surface-to-surface missile was launched in the south of the country at the Kasputin Yar range in the Astrakhan region.
In this regard it may be mentioned that Russian president, Vladimir Putin, had earlier denounced US plans to place these missiles in central Europe at a Tuesday meeting with Jose Socrates, the premier of Portugal, who is now poised to take over the EU presidency on July 1. "We believe that attempts to turn Europe into a powder keg and to deploy new kinds of weapons are harmful and dangerous," Putin said.
The RS-24 is a MIRVed version of the operational Topol-M (SS-25), and will carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads.
The Iskander cruise missile, with a range of up to 280 km (170 miles), has a radar-evading trajectory and a CEP of no more than three metres. It can be effectively used against small targets, including separate missile launchers.