Russia has answered the US plans to settle in Poland and Czech antimissile defence system. First reported test of the new RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles (MIRV) was conducted at Plesetsk. “The test launch of the RS-24 (ICBM) occurred at 14:20 Moscow time ( 1:20 GMT) at Plesetsk and at the designated time the warheads struck the assigned region at the Kura base on Kamchatka," a spokesman for Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces told the news agency Interfax.
New ICBM is to replace missiles RS-20 «Voevoda» (SS-18 Satan) and RS-18 (SS-19 Stilet), that could carry six and ten warheads. RS-24 is a proper answer on the US antimissile defence shield designed to prevent attacks just of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Yesterday at Kapustin Yar Proving Ground in the Astrakhan Oblast new missile R-500 for the mobile complex Iskander-M was successfully tested.
The launch of the advanced cruise missile was performed at 17:50. In 24 minutes it struck the target area in East Kamchatka at a distance of 5500 km from the launch place. Complexes Iskander are to enter usage in 2009.
The first vice-premier Sergey Ivanov confirmed tests to be successful and said that 'a new operational-tactical complex and strategic complex which are able to overcome any existing and future missile defence shields have appeared”. 'From the point of view of defence and security, Russians can be at peace,' Ivanov said of the new Russian missiles.
It should be reminded that Russia is extremely displeased with US plans to establish anti-missile defence units in Eastern Europe and promised to respond adequately, although the USA claimed that the anti-missile shield was designed to protect Europe from Iranian and North Korean. This situation reveals the main problem: lack of confidence between the two countries. Few hours before the test launches Vladimir Putin denounced plans of the Pentagon again. “We are against turning Europe into a ‘powder keg’ by filling it with new weapons” - he said.
In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters that he could not officially confirm that the test had occurred and that the missile could penetrate any defense system. Casey said the Pentagon would examine the announcement, and he repeated a U.S. offer for Russia to cooperate on missile defense issues.