Russia's Strategic Missile Force (SMF) test-launched a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile with a 10,000 km range.
The single warhead missile can carry a nuclear weapon with a 550 kiloton yield. The surprise launch has major implications on the Russia-US START treaty which limits the number of nuclear weapons and their delivery mechanisms each country can have.
Russian media reported today quoting a press release from the SMF that the launch of the RS-12M Topol missile was carried out from the Kapustin Yar testing range in southern Russia’s Astrakhan Region.
The simulated warhead hit a designated target at the Sary-Shagan test range with pre-programmed precision, the release said.
The missile was developed 30 years ago and was intended to hit targets in America. It has a length is 22.7 meters and the first stage has a body diameter of 1.9 meters. The mass at launch is 47,200 kilograms, including the 1,200-kilogram payload.
China recently tested a ballistic missile capable of reaching American shores.