Russia successfully tests three strategic missiles
Russia on Thursday carried out three successful tests of different intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of regular testing of its strategic arsenal, local news agencies reported.
The armed forces started by launching a Topol RS-12M missile (called the SS-25 Sickle by NATO) from Plesetsk cosmodrome in the far north of Russia from where it landed on target in the Kamchatka peninsula on the Pacific Ocean.
Topol intercontinental missiles have a range of 10,000 kilometres (6,250 miles). They were first tested in 1983 and incorporated into the Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal in 1988. They were originally designed to be used for 10 years.
Russian forces later in the day launched two intercontinental missiles from nuclear submarines in northern seas, according to military sources cited by Russian agencies.
The first was a P-29P (RSM-50) missile, with a range of 6,500 kilometres, which can be launched from a depth of 50 metres (160 feet).
Minutes later, forces launched a Sineva missile (referred to as Skiff by NATO) from the Barents Sea. The missile was incorporated into Russia's arsenal in 2007 and in 2008 recorded its longest ever range of 11,547 kilometres.
The three successful tests "confirmed the high specifications of the missiles and the combat capacities of the country's strategic nuclear forces," a defence ministry spokesman told the Interfax news agency.
© 2010 AFP