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  Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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Russia successfully test launched on Friday a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile
Russia successfully test launched on Friday a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile to assess the possibility of extending its service life up to 22 years, a spokesman for the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) said.

"The dummy warhead has hit a designated target at the Kura testing grounds on the Kamchatka peninsula with the required precision," Col. Alexander Vovk said.

The missile was in active service from 1987 until 2007, and deployed with the 54th Strategic Missile Division near the town of Teikovo, about 150 miles (240 km) northeast of Moscow.

The successful test launch of the missile, from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia, will allow the Topol's service life to be extended to 22 years, the spokesman said.

The RS-12M Topol (SS-25 Sickle) is a single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) approximately the same size and shape as the U.S. Minuteman ICBM. The first Topol missiles were put into service in 1985.

The missile has a maximum range of 10,000 km (6,125 miles) and can carry a 550-kiloton nuclear warhead.

Although the service life of the SS-25 was already extended to 21 years after a series of successful test launches last year, the missile will be progressively retired over the next decade and replaced by mobile Topol-M (SS-27 Stalin) missile systems.

According to available data, Russia's SMF has a total of 541 ICBMs, including 306 Topol missiles and 59 Topol-M missiles.


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