Missile Tests Underscore Moscow’s Desire to Maintain Nuclear Deterrent

On May 29, the Russian government very ostentatiously tested two different ballistic missiles, designated the RS-24 and R-500. The Russian media characterized both systems as new versions of existing missiles, modified to penetrate U.S. ballistic missile defenses (BMD) more effectively. First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, the former fefense minster, claimed that “these systems can beat any operational and future missile defenses.” According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the new RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile is simply a version of the road-mobile SS-25 Topol (“Sickle”) that had been modified to carry up to 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles […]

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