Russia Conducts Drills With RS-24 Yars Ballistic Missile Ahead Of Crucial Putin-Biden Summit

Russia conducted drills with the latest RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the Irkutsk region of Eastern Siberia, ahead of the crucial summit between President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart the US President Joe Biden in Geneva.

Russia is also tracking a US guided-missile destroyer that has entered the Black Sea recently, The Eurasian Times reported.

The June 16 summit in Geneva will be held in the backdrop of military exercises conducted by the two arch-rivals. 

Apart from the Yars, the Taifun-M anti-sabotage vehicle, ARS-14 KM auto-filling station, and Listva remote mine-clearing vehicle were included in the two hundred “items of material of missile formation” last week.

Confirming this, Russia’s Defence Ministry said that over 2,000 missile troops held exercises with the ICBMs.

“In the course of the drills, the missile forces are practicing bringing missile systems to field positions, conducting marches, dispersing launchers with a change of field positions, their equipping and organizing camouflage measures and combat security,” the Ministry said.

An improved variant of the TOPOL-M, the RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile is armed with multiple warheads. It can carry as many as 10 independently targeted warheads, each with a 3000 kiloton yield, according to The National Interest.

The Russian missile troops practiced their drills in concert with combat reconnaissance drones. “Unmanned aerial vehicles have been employed to reconnoiter combat patrol routes and detect subversive groups.

The drones have helped detect “subversive” and “reconnaissance groups” at a distance of 10 km that were laying mines on roads along the routes of the columns’ movement. “They have been spotted at distant approaches to the field positions and timely neutralized”, the Defence Ministry said.

The RS-24 Yars was first tested in 2007 and introduced into service in 2010. It is reported to have been developed in both road-mobile and silo-based variants. Although it is set to replace the TOPOL-M, the RS-24 Yars uses the same 16 x 16 wheeled chassis as the TOPOL-M.

It is believed that the RS-24 Yars in road-mobile variants will be harder to detect, track, and target, making it more capable than their stationary counterparts. The Yars, as maintained by The National Interest, takes about seven minutes to launch and “employs a GLONASS digital inertial navigation system”.

Russian President is set to meet his US counterpart this week in Geneva to iron out differences over an array of issues.

The Russian leader said he expected the Geneva meeting to help establish bilateral dialogue and revive personal contacts, adding that important issues for the two men included strategic stability, Libya and Syria, and the environment, reported The Hindu.

In April, The Eurasian Times reported that Russia would begin the development of the Kedr new-generation ICBM by 2023-2024. It will replace the solid-fuelled Yars ICBM system by 2030.

Russian Defense Ministry officials had told news agency TASS that the research work on Kedr has been financed under the current state arms procurement program until 2027. Technological development will begin in 2023-2024.

Written by Kanika Sachdeva

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