A trial launch of a new Russian intercontinental ballistic missile from Plesetsk cosmodrome in Northern Russia ended with a failure as the missile crashed 8 km from the launch pad. The accident was first reported in Russian weblogs while Russia’s space troops confirmed the fact of the trials the next day, Sept. 28.
“On Sept. 27 in Plesetsk, industry representatives conducted the trials of the missile prototypes within the development program of the newest missile weapons”, said the official representatives of the Defense Ministry, cited by RIA Novosti news agency.
Yars ICBM (credits - Russia's Defense Ministry)The military didn’t disclose the type of the crashed missile, but industry sources cited by the Russian media suggested it was an improved version of the mobile solid-propellant Yars (SS-X-29) ICBM with an increased number of warheads. The three-stage Yars with a range of 11,000 km was developed by Moscow Institute of Thermotechnics (MIT), that also designed mobile Topol (SS-25), and Topol-M (SS-27) as well as submarine-launched Bulava (SS-NX-30) ICBMs.
Earlier, in March this year, Yuri Solomonov, MIT Chief Designer, revealed that his company is working on modernization of the existing ICBMs, improving their survivability and enhancing the combat capabilities. He explained that this work is expected to be finished by 2013.
The first regiment armed with Yars ICBMs entered on duty with the Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces in March 2011.