Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that 14 Russian missile regiments would receive the new Yars RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile systems amid a possible growing arms race with the US.
“Pursuant to provisions of the state program for armaments, we’ll continue replacement of the outdated Topol missile complexes with the newest Yars systems and will put them on the tables of equipment at fourteen missile regiments,” Putin told defence industry officials in a broader push to modernise Russian forces and weaponry, according to TASS.
The Yars is a three-stage ICBM that can be fired from mobile-launchers and silos. It was successfully tested in September 2017 when it was fired from a mobile-launcher from Plesetsk to the Kura range site in Kamchatka Krai.
Russia had also said that it test fired a silo-based Yars ICBM with an “experimental warhead” a few days before that.
“It is not clear what these new ‘experimental’ Russian reentry vehicles (RV) are,” The National Interest reported at the time, adding that it’s possible that it was a manoeuvrable reentry vehicle designed to elude missile defence systems.
Here’s what the Yars RS-24 ICBM can do.
Russia began developing the three-stage solid-propellant RS-24 Yars ICBM in 2004. It was first tested in 2007, and entered service in 2010.
The Yars was first launched from mobile launcher vehicles, but as of 2014, it can be fired from silos.
It’s equipped with 3 MIRV nuclear warheads, each with a payload of 2,647 pounds. A MIRV (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle) is a ballistic missile with multiple warheads, all capable of hitting different targets.
Each warhead carries about 150-200 kT of energy.
The Yars has a maximum range of just over 6,500 miles and a minimum range of over 1,240 miles.
The diameter of the first-stage is believed to be about 6.5 feet. The second-stage is about 5.9 feet and the third-stage is about 5.25 feet.
It’s believed to be over 68 feet long.
It’s launch weight is believed to be nearly 109,350 pounds.
And it’s also believed to have a newer reentry vehicle that can elude missile defence systems.
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