Russia has staged the first successful test-launch of a new intercontinental missile designed to penetrate the defence system now being deployed by Nato despite Moscow’s fierce complaints.
The highly-symbolic launch came just days after alliance formally activated the first stage of a missile defence shield whose deployment Russia has bitterly opposed out of fears that it may target its own vast nuclear arsenal.
“The dummy warhead reached its target area at the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The set goals of the launch were reached,” Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces spokesman Vadim Koval told Interfax.
A military source told the agency that the launch was only the second ever conducted in the top-secret programme.
The source said the first failed on September 27 when the missile suffered an undisclosed malfunction and crashed six miles from the launch site.
The rocket still has no formal name but is being billed by the military as a “fifth generation” weapon that substantially upgrades the technology used by its already-feared feared Topol-M and Yars systems.