Russia successfully tests new, upgraded anti-ballistic missile (VIDEO)
The new missile was test-fired on Thursday from the Sary Shagan testing range located in the steppe of Kazakhstan, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. The statement did not disclose the type of missile, but the ministry released a spectacular video showing the projectile being transported in a container on a heavy truck, loaded into a silo and then fired.
“The anti-ballistic missile followed the flight plan and successfully hit a mock target,” said Colonel Andrey Prikhodko of the Russian Air Force. The officer did not elaborate on the test, but said all its objectives had been “completed in full.”
The container shown in the video is consistent with those used to test-fire the 53T6 anti-ballistic missile, a component of the Russian ABM shield protecting Moscow from a potential ICBM strike. The short-range interceptor is meant to be deployed against an incoming vehicle at a speed of 3 km per second and destroy it with a 3-kiloton nuclear blast. The missile was developed during Soviet times and is no longer produced, but an estimated 100 projectiles are either being stored or are deployed in the 68 silos of the A-135 ABM system protecting the Russian capital.
According to a source cited by Gazeta.ru news website, the missile tested is a brand new replacement for the discontinued 53T6. The interceptor reportedly has a new hull with a composite material heat shield, a more powerful engine that boosts its speed to 4 km per second and an upgraded guidance system capable of withstanding the pressure of greater acceleration, which can reach almost 300 g, the source said. The missile also reportedly has a higher flight ceiling and longer range than its predecessor.