Reptilian Policies At Work

Jean Pierre Alexandre - May 24 2012, 11:25 AM

Russia claims new missile can overcome missile defenses
Russia says it conducted a successful test of a new missile that is meant to outwit the NATO antimissile shield and has a maximum range of 10,000 miles.

By Fred Weir, Correspondent / May 24, 2012


Within days of NATO's announcement that its European antimissile shield is now "provisionally operational," Russia has claimed to have tested a new type of intercontinental missile that can outwit the new missile defenses.

Fred Weir has been the Monitor's Moscow correspondent, covering Russia and the former Soviet Union, since 1998.

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The new missile, which some Russian media said is named the "Avante-garde," was successfully fired on Wednesday from Plesetsk cosmodrome in northwestern Russia, and reportedly hit its target on the Kamchatka Peninsula, several thousand miles away, a few minutes later.

The Russian Defense Ministry says the new weapon has a maximum range of about 10,000 miles and can carry a bigger payload than any previous Russian missile.

"This new intercontinental ballistic missile is intended to strengthen the capabilities of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces, including its capabilities for overcoming antimissile defenses," Defense Ministry spokesman Vadim Koval told journalists.

"The missile was built with maximum use of existing components with new elements and technologies developed during the production of fifth-generation missile systems, in order to shorten its development time," he added.

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Analysts say the new missile is probably a modification of the Topol-M, a modern, mobile ICBM that is well known in the West and is accounted for under the terms of the new START accord signed by US and Russian leaders two years ago. That treaty stipulates that both sides have the right to modernize their missile delivery systems as long as they remain under a ceiling of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads.

The new missile reportedly can boost into space faster than previous models thanks to a powerful new fuel, which would presumably enable it to outrun any ground-launched interceptors from NATO's European antimissile system.

The independent Interfax agency quoted a retired Russian missile commander, Gen. Viktor Yesin, as saying the new weapon was specifically designed as part of Russia's efforts to counter NATO's antimissile system, which is slated to become fully operational by 2018, as well as other regional shields being contemplated by the Pentagon.

"This is one of the technical means Russia

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