In what appears to be a warning to the US-led NATO about Moscow’s nuclear capabilities, the Russian defense ministry released a video showing the installation of a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into a missile silo.
The video made public on December 14 demonstrates the installation of a large Russian Yars rocket into a silo at the Kozelsk military complex in the Kaluga region southwest of Moscow.
The Russian defense ministry said that the missile was installed in the silo using a specialized transport and loading unit during an operation that lasted several hours.
Additionally, the Russian media reported that the unit is trying to build a new infrastructure that offers better circumstances for duty force training, combat duty execution, and staff relaxation.
The Yars missile complex, loaded in the Kaluga region, reportedly has a carrying capacity 12 times more than the American atomic bomb that decimated Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
The 7,500-mile-range intercontinental ballistic missile was placed in a silo launch pad utilizing a special transport and loading unit. The RS-24 Yars is an upgraded version of the previous Topol-MR.
The Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering developed the SS-29, as it is known in the West, which had its first testing in 2007.
It can be ready for launch in seven minutes and fire from a prepared location, a customized garage with a sliding roof, or an unprepared position during field deployment. Russia is displaying its nuclear weapons ahead of the annual Strategic Missile Forces Day on December 17.
The missile system is identical to the Topal-M missile system, except that the payload “bus” has been upgraded to carry MIRV (multiple independently targetable warheads).
In a conventional MIRV configuration, the missile contains all the warheads in a single stage that separates from the rest of the weapon after launch. Once beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, this unit may navigate independently, releasing each warhead over a single target.
In June 2019, Russia claimed to have tested the RS-24 Yars using an “experimental warhead” design. The missile traveled nearly 3,500 miles during the test before striking the Kura Missile Test Range in Kamchatka Kra on the other side of Russia.
A Warning To The West?
Russian President Vladimir Putin witnessed the launch of a similar Yars missile in October amid heightened tensions over the conflict with Ukraine to test Russia’s response to a potential nuclear assault.
In response to the drills, Kremlin propagandist, Igor Korotchenko, stated on the channel Russia-1 that it is “essential that we’ve demonstrated who our main foe is and what awaits him.”
According to Missile Force Commander Col. Alexi Sokolov, the latest drill was intended to warn the West, given that both the US and Europe are within the missile’s range.
The commander said that “the importance of this operation lies in the fact that the missile will be put on combat duty on schedule.” He added that “the homeland will get another nuclear missile weapon, which will make it possible to solve any tasks at the strategic level.”
Recently, the Russian Defense Ministry also released a video showing how its Avangard Hypersonic Missile is loaded into the silo. Forty people loaded the complex strategic missile into the silo launcher.
The Avangard is a hypersonic glide vehicle that went into operation in 2019. It can be fired by various ICBMs, including the RS-28 Sarmat, the nation’s newest and most technologically advanced ICBM.
Under the codename Yu-71, the Avangard HGV is built as a part of the top-secret Project 4202. The missile was initially made public by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018 during his annual State of the Union address.
Russia has regularly said that it is developing hypersonic weapons to ensure that its strategic forces will outperform any future American air and missile defenses. The Avangard flies through the atmosphere, relying on reentry to reach its maximum speed. It is said to be capable of performing dynamic flying maneuvers to avoid detection.
Russian media has been propagating claims about Russia’s nuclear capability. The head of Russia’s Donetsk battalion, Alexander Khodakovsky, told state media this week that nuclear weapons may help Moscow win the war.