ASTANA, March 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is planning to carry out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles this month in addition to Tuesday’s successful launch, the Kazakh military said.
“On February 19, the Kazakh Defense Ministry received a request [from Russia] for permission to carry out three test launches in March. The request was approved on February 28,” the Central Asian nation’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
In line with a 1992 bilateral agreement on the use of test ranges, Russia periodically launches ballistic missiles with dummy warheads from its territory toward simulated targets at the Sary-Shagan range, which Moscow leases in Kazakhstan.
The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier that a RS-12M Topol ICBM, carrying a payload simulating “an advanced warhead,” was launched from the Kapustin Yar testing range in southern Russia’s Astrakhan Region on Tuesday.
Spokesman Igor Yegorov said the launch’s purpose was to test improvements of the ballistic missile, which entered service with the Russian Strategic Missile Forces in 1985.
The RS-12M Topol (SS-25 Sickle) is a single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile, about the same size and shape as the US Minuteman ICBM.
The missile has a maximum range of 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) and can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 550 kilotons.