Russia flexed its muscles Thursday with multiple ballistic and cruise missile launches, putting its strategic nuclear forces to the test, according to the Russian defense ministry.
The Russian military conducted nuclear triad drills, launching missiles from land, sea, and air. A unit of the Strategic Missile Force launched a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile from a road-mobile transporter erector launcher at the Plesetsk Space Center. A nuclear submarine with the Pacific Fleet conducted a salvo launch of two ballistic missiles while another nuclear submarine with the North Fleet fired off a third missile, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation said in a statement.
The training exercise also involved Tupolev-160, Tupolev-85MS and Tupolev-22MZ strategic bombers, which launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles in Kazakhstan. All of the ballistic and cruise missiles fired during the drill reportedly eliminated their practice targets.
“All the tasks set for the exercise have been fulfilled, and all the practice targets were reached,” the defense ministry announced after the completion of the firing drills.
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) October 26, 2017
Russia has put on several displays of military might in recent months, conducting multiple ICBM tests, including one of a new missile able to strike multiple targets at once and at great distances.
In late September, Russian military forces launched a RS-12M Topol, the same missile fired Thursday, from the Kapustin Yar launch facility in southwestern Russia. That test, which was reportedly carried out to test advanced nuclear warheads, came on the heels of a test of the RS-24 Yars ICBM.
Unlike the Topol, which is a single-warhead weapon, the Yars is believed to carry multiple warheads and have a much greater range than its predecessor. The Russian defense ministry recently revealed a desire to test the new RS-28 Sarmat ICBM, a supersonic missile capable of carrying 10 to 15 warheads before the end of the year.
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