Ukraine War: Russia Deploys ‘Heavy Weight’ RS-24 Yars ICBM For Combat Patrol Mission In Tver Region

Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense has decided to deploy RS-24 Yars mobile surface-to-surface missile systems on combat patrol missions in Tver Region. 

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The Russian MoD, on January 16, announced that the Bologoye strategic missile division, based in the Tver Region, has put Yars mobile surface-to-surface missile systems on combat patrol missions.

“In the Bologovsky missile compound (Tver region), autonomous launchers of the Yars were brought to the combat patrol routes,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry added that military personnel is carrying out their responsibilities and following direct instructions, which includes making precise maneuvers along combat patrol routes. 

The Yars crew will march up to 100 kilometers, dispersing troops with a change in field positions and their engineering equipment, and coordinating camouflage and battle protection, reported Interfax.

Combat training measures are planned to ensure that personnel, weapons, and military equipment are ready for long-term employment on combat patrol routes. 

The missile units must practice stealth deployment in the forest as part of the maneuvering operations. The extraction of specialized equipment from hypothetical chemically contaminated zones is to be handled by support units, the ministry highlighted. 

The Strategic Missile Forces are a significant element of Russia’s Armed Forces and the core of its strategic nuclear forces.

Nevertheless, the Yars system has been placed on combat patrol missions in the Tver Region, close to the Belarus border and with Ukraine within range, amid mounting concerns that Russia may soon launch a major offensive in Ukraine. 

The road-mobile version of Russia’s RS-24 Yars ICBM

Some experts believe that Russia appears to be considering putting heavy weaponry in Ukraine as the West pours sophisticated air defense systems into Kyiv. These efforts include deploying nuclear-capable missiles and launching them without nuclear warheads.

In a recent assessment, the UK Ministry of Defense noted that Russia is probably removing the nuclear warheads off outdated nuclear cruise missiles and launching unarmed missiles at Ukraine.

Regardless of Russia’s intentions, this improvisation shows how severely its arsenal of long-range missiles has been depleted, the UK MoD noted. 

Yars Intercontinental Ballistic Missile system

The RS-24 Yars, a successor of the Topol-M missile, is Russia’s strategic missile system and is outfitted with a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile.

The system was designed and developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology under Russian Academy of Sciences member Yury Solomonov.  

Regarding Yars’ strategic implications, the MDAA stated that the RS-24 Yars has been at the vanguard of Russian attempts to upgrade its nuclear capabilities. The system’s capability to evade missile defense systems increases the effectiveness of the ground-based component of Russia’s Nuclear Triad.

Furthermore, the system has an advantage over current missile defense systems thanks to its capacity to deploy active and passive decoys while in flight.

The RS-24 can be transported by road and deployed in decommissioned Russian missile silos, making it harder to detect. 

This, together with the fact that the system takes only seven minutes to launch, presents severe threats to the missile defense system utilized by the United States to safeguard its nation and allies. 

Yars Nuclear Missile

The EurAsian Times reported in December 2022 that Russia published a video demonstrating the integration of Yars missile into a silo at the Kozelsk military complex in the Kaluga region southwest of Moscow.

According to the Russian publication Komsomolskaya Pravda, the Yars missile complex has a capacity 12 times higher than the American bomb that decimated Hiroshima. 

In October 2022, Putin witnessed the launch of the same Yars missile amid heightened tensions over the conflict with Ukraine to evaluate Russia’s response to a potential nuclear assault.

Except for the payload “bus,” which has been modified to carry MIRV, the missile system is similar to the Topal-M missile system (multiple independently targetable warheads).

In a conventional MIRV arrangement, all of the warheads are contained in a single stage that splits from the rest of the weapon after launch. Once beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, this device may maneuver autonomously, launching each warhead at a particular target.

Russia announced in June 2019 that it had tested the RS-24 Yars with an “experimental warhead” design. During the test, the missile traveled approximately 3,500 miles before hitting the Kura Missile Test Range in Kamchatka Krai on the other side of Russia.