|Type||Intercontinental Ballistic Missile|
|Place of origin||Russia|
|In service||July 2010–present|
|Used by||Russian Strategic Missile Troops|
|Designer||Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology|
|Manufacturer||Votkinsk Machine Building Plant|
|Warhead||At least 3 MIRVs with 500 kiloton, 6 with 150—300 kiloton warheads|
|Engine||solid (third or fourth stage can be liquid)|
|11,000 km (6,800 mi)-12,000 km (7,500 mi)|
|Speed||over Mach 20 (24,500 km/h; 15,220 mph; 6,806 m/s)|
|Inertial with Glonass|
|Silo, road-mobile TEL MZKT-79221|
The RS-24 Yars also known as RT-24 Yars or Topol'-MR (Russian: PC-24 «Ярс», NATO reporting name: SS-29[dubious ] or SS-27 Mod 2) is a Russian MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile first tested on May 29, 2007, after a secret military R&D project, to replace the older R-36 and UR-100N that have been in use for nearly 50 years.
START Treaty prohibited increasing the number of warheads attributed to ICBMs, so Russia claimed the RS-24 was a completely new ICBM to justify the designation SS-29 instead of SS-27 Mod 2, to circumvent treaty prohibition. The US National Air and Space Intelligence Center NASIC always believed that Yars was just a Topol M in violation of the START Treaty, something that is reflected in both the Mod 2 designation and the illustrations showing the SS-27 Mod 1 and Mod 2 to be identical.
It is essentially the same missile as the Mod 1 version Topol-M except the payload “bus” has been modified to carry multiple independently targetable warheads (MIRV). Each missile is thought to be able to carry up to 4 warheads, although there is uncertainty about what the maximum capacity is (but it is not 10 warheads, as often claimed in Russian news media).
RS-24 is a missile that is heavier than the current SS-27 Mod 1 (Topol-M), and which some reports say can carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads. The 2007 tests were publicized as a response to the missile shield that the United States were planning to deploy in Europe. RS-24 has been deployed operationally since 2010, with more than 50 launchers operational as of June 2017.
Yars does not appear to be a Russian word but the Slavic root яр (yar) is present, being a bank or steep ravine, consistent with the nomenclature of another newly fielded Russian missile, the RS-26 Rubezh (РС-26 Рубеж) meaning a boundary or outer limit.
Asserted by the Russian government as being designed to defeat present and potential anti-missile systems, the ICBM was first tested by a launch from a mobile launcher at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia at 11:20 GMT, May 29, 2007, and its test warheads landed on target about 5,750 km (3,573 mi) away at the Kura Test Range in Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.
The second launch from Plesetsk to the Kura Test Range was conducted on December 25, 2007, at 13:10 GMT. It successfully reached its destination. The third successful launch from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia was conducted on November 26, 2008, at 13:20 GMT. The missile's multiple re-entry vehicles successfully landed on targets on the Kura testing range.
Neither the development nor deployment of RS-24 is likely to be threatened by the enforcement of the New START treaty. It was again tested on December 24, 2013, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwest Russia. On December 26, 2014, the Strategic Forces conducted a successful launch of a RS-24 Yars missile. The missile was launched from a mobile launcher deployed at the Plesetsk test site. Missile warheads were reported to have successfully reached their targets at the Kura test site in Kamchatka. The launch, which was performed with support of the Air and Space Defense Forces, took place at 11:02 MSK (08:02 UTC).
In June the chief designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, Yuri Solomonov, announced that the RS-24 is an enhanced, MIRVed development of the Topol-M missile that would finish all testing in 2008 and most likely be deployed in 2009. According to General Nikolai Solovtsov, the commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF), the first RS-24 missiles will be deployed in Teykovo in 2009.
On March 17, 2009, General Solovtsov announced that the first regiment of RS-24 ICBMs will be put into service in December 2009 when START-1 is set to expire. He later repeated that statement on May 7. According to the Russian rocket forces the first six RS-24 missiles will be mobile.
Further on October 10, 2009, on ITAR-TASS, General Andrei Shvaichenko, the new SRF commander, confirmed the December 2009 deployment of the RS-24 which will support the existing RT-2PM2 Topol-M (RS-12М2) missile complex.
Testing for the new-generation ICBM was completed in mid-July 2010, and the first missiles were deployed shortly after on July 19.
In December 2010 the 54th Guards Rocket Division in Teykovo received its second delivery of RS-24 missile systems. In total 6 missiles were deployed by the end of 2010. 3 more mobile missile systems were deployed in July 2011 and then the first regiment was operational. In December 2011 first division of second regiment with 3 missiles was put on combat duty and second division will be deployed by 2011 year end. On August 16, 2012, Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) spokesman Col. Vadim Koval reported that a second regiment of the 54th Guards Rocket Division in Teikovo, central Russia will be fully equipped with Yars mobile ballistic missile systems in 2012.
Russia fully deployed the first Yars regiment consisting of three battalions in August 2011, and put two battalions of the second regiment on combat duty on December 27, 2011. The deployment of the third battalion of the second regiment completed the rearming of the Teikovo division with Yars systems. The two regiments consist of a total of 18 missile systems and several mobile command posts. Two more missile divisions will start receiving the Yars systems in 2013.
The 39th Guards Rocket Division, at Novosibirsk in Siberia, will receive mobile Yars systems, while the 28th Guards Rocket Division at Kozelsk (in central Russia) will be armed with the silo-based version of the system. The Strategic Missile Troops said that the Topol-M and RS-24 ballistic missiles would be the mainstay of the ground-based component of Russia's nuclear triad and would account for no less than 80% of the SMF's arsenal by 2016.
Three missile regiments of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces have been rearmed with the Yars systems in 2014.
- The Strategic Missile Troops are the only operator of the RS-24 Yars. As of 2017, 90 mobile and 20 silo-based missiles are deployed with:
- Strategic Missile Troops
- RS-26 Rubezh
- RS-28 Sarmat
- R-36 (missile)
- RT-2PM Topol
- RT-2PM2 Topol-M
- LGM-30 Minuteman
- CSIS Missile Threat - SS-29 (RS-24 "Yars")
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