Russia test-fires Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile

By Ryan Maass   |   Jan. 17, 2017 at 10:22 AM
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Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Russia's military successfully test-fired a Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile, according to the country's defense ministry.

The missile, one of Russia's first ICBMs developed after the fall of the Soviet Union, was fired from the Plesetsk spaceport and struck its target at a firing range in the Kamchatka Peninsula. Russian defense authorities say the test was conducted to confirm the weapon's stability.

"The missile's exercise head hit a hypothetical target at a firing range in the Kamchatka Peninsula with high degree of precision," defense officials told the Tass news agency. "The launch was geared to confirm the stability of flight characteristics of this type of intercontinental ballistic missiles."

The Topol-M is capable of being deployed from missile silos or APU launchers mounted on the 16-wheeled MZKT-79221 universal transporter-erector-launcher. The missile's operational range is 6,835 miles.

The weapon's developers claim their product is able to bypass any current or planned U.S. missile defense system, and can make evasive maneuvers to avoid missile interceptors during flight.

Russia began testing the Topol-M in 1994 after the missile was developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering. A silo-based modification of the missile entered service in 2000.

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