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Russia Test Fires Another Topol

A file image of a Topol-M test launch.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Aug 08, 2006
Russia has successfully test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from its northern space-vehicle launching site, Plesetsk, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported Aug. 3 The intercontinental Topol class ballistic missile, also known in the West as the CC-25, was launched on Aug. 3 at 1:38 pm Moscow time from a mobile launching installation, sources from the northern cosmodrome told ITAR-TASS.

The aim of the test was to assure that the exploitation period of the missile could be extended, a Russian space forces' press-service representative told online daily.

The flight of the missile was strictly controlled by Russian space force devices. The launch and the flight of Topol have met all necessary standards. At the scheduled time the missile hit its target situated on the exercise polygon on the Kamchtaka Peninsula.

The RT-2PM Topol is a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile designed in the Soviet Union in 1970 and is still used in Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces. The first tests of the missile were conducted in 1981. Full deployment of 360 missiles was achieved in 1996, and as of 2005, 300 remain on duty. Ballistic missiles are typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery.

The Topol is a road mobile 3-stage, single warhead missile. It weights 2,200 pounds and can deliver a single warhead over a range of 6,300 miles with an accuracy of just over half a mile, according to Russian sources.

More than 500 intercontinental ballistic missiles, including 80 Topols, have been launched from the cosmodrome Plesetsk since it has been in operation. More than 1550 carrier rockets have been launched, 60 types of spacecraft tested, and over 38 percent of the worlds' spacecraft put into the orbit from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.

Source: United Press International

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General Still Hopeful On Trident Funding
Washington (UPI) Aug 08, 2006
The head of U.S. Strategic Command, Gen. James Cartwright, anticipates Congress will consider releasing additional funds for a new, conventionally armed Trident D-5 missile next year, once studies are done that show the weapon can be used with little risk of provoking nuclear retaliation.

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