матерщи́на! Russia’s New ICBM Flops

Adam Rawnsley

Note to Russia: Your doomsday weapons need better rollouts if they’re supposed to be scary.

The Tuesday debut of an experimental Russian Intercontinental Ballistic Missile went all wrong, when the never-before-seen ICBM variant fell back to Earth shortly after its launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome.

An anonymous Russian military source told state-run news that the test was intended to try out a new warhead for Russia’s new modified ICBMs — the RS-24 and the Topol-M, made by Moscow’s Institute for Thermal Technologies. “The new multiple warhead section would upgrade the capabilities of this missile to take on future missile defense systems.” Vladimir Yevseyev, Director of Russia’s Center for Public and Political Research, speculated that the missile was upgraded to carry a heavier payload. The extra capability, he said, would allow it to carry a range of counter-missile defense capabilities.

Moscow has taken some fairly vocal exception to American missile defense efforts in these past years, including an attempt to build a European missile shield against the prospect of Iranian ballistic missiles. If claims about the experimental ICBM’s new capabilities are true, they’re likely designed to help Russia thumb its nose at America’s missile defense efforts.

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