Tag Archives: RS-20V

I’m Good Until 2026

Happy 51st RVSN Day . . . Commander General-Lieutenant Sergey Karakayev indicated that service life extension can keep Voyevoda, Stiletto, and Topol in the strategic missile inventory until 2026.  The RVSN is working on ICBM modernization, and has RDT&E in the GPV to deal with new challenges and threats to its missile force.

According to ITAR-TASS, Karakayev said:

“Nevertheless, the service life of the RS-18 ICBM (U.S. and NATO classification Stiletto) has already reached 33 years.  For the RS-20V missile (Voyevoda) and RS-12M (Topol), this term is 23 and 24 years respectively.  And the initial warranty period was defined as 10-15 years.  Practice has shown that the service life of the systems considerably exceeds the established warranty term of use.  It is quite difficult now to determine definitely what kind of safety margin there is.  A series of experimental-design work is being conducted with this goal.”

“The economic expedience of such work is obvious.  For example, extending the service life of the RS-20V (Voyevoda) missile system will allow us to keep the world’s most powerful missiles in the RVSN force until 2026.  Such possibilities also exist for RS-18 and RS-12M missiles.”

“Replacing them with new missiles would require financial outlays far exceeding expenditures on this work.  At present, there are no unresolved technical problems to the further extension of the service lives of the missile systems.”

“Together with the general designers from a whole row of domestic industrial enterprises and organizations, the missile troops are conducting work not only to support the condition and the improvement of existing missile armament, but also their significant modernization, with a constant goal:  under any conditions, to provide a guaranteed resolution of the missions of nuclear deterrence.  Everything is subordinate to this, including measures to modernize the combat equipment of missile systems, which are fully adequate for both the emerging and forecasted military-strategic environment.”

“The scientific-technical and design pool of domestic military missile building will allow us to react flexibly to rising challenges and threats to Russia’s security.  The RDT&E laid out in the State Program of Armaments for 2011-2020 is directed at this.”

Karakayev on ICBMs

On Tuesday (30 November), RVSN Commander, General-Lieutenant Sergey Karakayev had his first encounter with the media since taking over the land-based strategic missile force in June.  Krasnaya zvezda covered it, of course. 

Karakayev said all newly deployed mobile Topol-Ms will be the MIRVed (RS-24 / Yars) variant rather than single-warhead missiles.  He said a sixth silo-based Topol-M regiment will go on combat duty at Tatishchevo this month, and more silo-based deployments will occur next year.

Karakayev also said:

“To support the required balance of forces in carrying out the mission of nuclear deterrence, qualitative improvement of the components of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces [SYaS or СЯС] is required.  Russia’s missile industry will continue development of new missile systems, including new technical solutions incorporated within missile systems of the ‘Topol-M’ type.”

The media repeated ITAR-TASS to the effect that most experts think this means Moscow will develop a heavy silo-based ICBM to replace Russia’s remaining ‘heavies’ — UR-100NUTTKh (SS-19 / Stiletto) and R-36M2 (RS-20V or Voyevoda, SS-18 / Satan Mod 6).

Rossiyskaya gazeta added that 10,000 military and 8,000 civilian posts in the RVSN had been cut over the past 5 years.  But further cuts in RVSN armies, divisions, and regiments aren’t anticipated.