Russia tests Topol-M missile to subdue USA's $50-billion air defense

The unpredictable flight trajectory of the Russian missile makes it immune to destruction

The successful test launch of the Topol-M missile has proved that the up-to-date Russian warhead is capable of subduing the USA's air defense, Russian military specialists say. Topol-M (SS-27) missile

Russian strategic troops performed the test launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile RS-12M Topol on November 1. The chairman of the press service of the troops, Colonel Alexander Vovk, stated after the test launch that the missile successfully hit the conditional target on the Balkhash range ground in Kazakhstan.

It is worthy of note that yesterday's launch of the Topol-M missile became the sixth test of the system, which was created to subdue the US air defense. The Russian military command was keeping the entire flight data under control during the launch of the missile. The test showed that the maneuver, as performed by the missile on its flight trajectory, would not let foreign air defense troops intercept and destroy the missile. 

According to the information obtained from the open sources, the arsenal of the Russian strategic troops currently has stationary Topol-M missile systems. It is planned to use the systems on both shaft and mobile bases in the future.

First shaft-based missile complexes RS-12M Topol-M (SS-X27 under the NATO classification) were added to the Russian defense arsenal in 1997. There are currently four missile units in the Russian troops working with Topol-M systems. Each of the units has up to ten intercontinental ballistic missiles, official sources say.

Click here to see the photo gallery of Russian arms in action

The Russian Topol-M missile system has unique technical details. The length of the missile is 22.7 meters, it is 1.95 meters in diameter, the range ability reaches over 10,000 kilometers. The starting weight of the missile is 47.2 tons; the missile gathers speed a lot faster than all previous types with the help of its three engines. In addition, the missile performs unpredictable flight maneuvers owing to several tens of its auxiliary engines.

Topol-M engineers say that the complex is totally immune to electromagnetic impacts.

The USA tested one of the elements of the national ABM system on 15 July 2001. The intercepting missile was launched from Ronald Regan Test Site on Marshall Islands and hit a test warhead above the Pacific Ocean, not far from California.

US President Bush informed the Russian administration on 13 December 2001 about the USA's single-handed pullout from the 1972 START Treaty. The treaty particularly prohibited the deployment of ABM systems on the territory of one single state.

The USA's ABM plan implies the creation of a layered anti-ballistic shield. The ABM system will give the USA an opportunity to defend its territory against possible attacks on the part of the states from the so-called axis of evil. The USA chose the evolutionary way for the development of its future air defense system, according to which the USA will not have the final and stagnant air defense structure. The USA deploys ground- and sea-based missile interceptors, Patriot systems and a variety of sensors on the ground, at sea and in space.

The cost of the US ABM project is evaluated at some $50 billion.

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Author`s name Olga Savka