Russian chemical defense troops to use Yars ICBM launchers in drills for first time

Transporter-launcher container of an RS-24 Yars / SS-27 Mod 2 solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic complex © Vladimir Fedorenko
RS-24 Yars mobile ground missile complexes will be used for the first time in special drills involving Russia’s radiological, chemical and biological protection troops, currently underway in several regions of the country.

"During the drills, the units of the Strategic Missile Force and the Western Military District will assess the radiological, chemical and biological situation at notionally contaminated facilities, decontaminate armament and military hardware, including Yars mobile launchers, the contaminated terrain and people," Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. 

The Yars ICBM launchers used in the exercise will be provided by the Teikovskaya division in central Russia.

During the drills, the troops will “practice missions for aerosol screen countermeasures in the deployment areas of missile formations.”

The chemical forces will also train to eliminate the consequences of notional emergencies and man-made disasters, the statement said.

The RS-24 Yars is a thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile, equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles.

According to media reports, it has an operational range of 11,000km and can carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads.

Apart from the RS-24 Yars, Russian troops also used Sun Scorch heavy rocket propelled flame throwers during the drills. The Sun Scorch can hit targets with 24 missiles  shot in one volley and equipped with thermobaric charges from a distance of up to 7km.

The special drills of Russia’s radiological, chemical and biological protection troops kicked off on August 15 and will finish on Saturday, August 20.

They are being staged at sites in the Volgograd region, Crimea and Chechnya, and involve 900 servicemen and 300 pieces of equipment.

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