Development of Russian new-generation Kedr ICBM to begin in 2023-2024
Development of Russia’s new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) called Kedr will begin at the turn of 2023-2024, a defense industry source told TASS. Solid-fuel Kedr ICBMs are to replace Yars systems at the turn of 2030.
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Yars-24 ICBM (Picture source: Russian MoD)
"Research work on Kedr has been financed under the current state arms procurement program, which is in effect until 2027. Technological development will begin in 2023-2024," he said. According to the source, solid-fuel Kedr ICBMs are to replace Yars systems at the turn of 2030. Just like their predecessor, the new system will have mobile and silo-based modifications, he added.
At the time of the publication, TASS has been unable to obtain an official comment from the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, which had developed Topol, Topol-M and Yars strategic missile systems currently in service with the Russian armed forces. A source in the space industry told TASS on March 1 that Russian defense companies had launched engineering drafting work on the new-generation Kedr intercontinental ballistic missile system.
The currently deployed RS-24 Yars (strategic missile - modification 24) also known as RT-24 Yars or Topol-MR (NATO reporting name: SS-29 or SS-27 Mod 2) is a MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile first tested on May 29, 2007, after a secret military R&D project.
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.
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 was planning to deploy in Europe. RS-24 has been deployed operationally since 2010, with more than 50 launchers operational as of June 2017.
Transporter of the Yars-24 ICBM displayed ar Army 2018 near Moscow (Picture source: Army Recognition)
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