Russia develops new type of railway-based ballistic missile based on RSM-56 Bulava ICBM
According to a Tweet published by Mike Mihajlovic on January 27, 2022, Dmitry Rogozin from the Russian state company Roscosmos has announced the development of a new type of ballistic missile based on the RSM-56 Bulava ICBM (InterContinental Ballistic Missile) that can be launched from the railway platforms.
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Russia announced the development of a new ballistic missile that can be launched from a railway platform. (Picture source Twitter account Mike Mihajlovic)
During the Cold War, Russia has already developed a rail-based variant of the RT-23 Molodets, a cold-launched, three-stage, solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile. A rail-based missile could move around the rail network and thus be difficult to detect and track.
The Soviet army deployed its first rail-portable long-range missile in 1987 and had 12 of them by 1991. Rail-mobile missiles were removed from service in 2002 and the last base dismantled in 2007 under the START II arms reduction treaty with the United States.
As for the RT-23 Molodets railway version, the new ballistic missile can be stored in a standard train car towed by a locomotive. The train can move at a speed of 80 to 120 km to all the Russian rail networks. According to the drawing published on Internet, the whole system includes a locomotive, a command and control train car, one fuel tank train, and the launcher unit with the missile inside the train car.
In February 2016, Army Recognition has reported that Russia had planned to receive a new generation of ICBM-(Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) launching trains called Barguzin that will be able to carry six RS-24 Yars ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles).
Citing information from the Twitter account of Mike Mihajlovic, the missile of the new railway launcher unit is based on the RSM-56 Bulava submarine-launched missile.
The RSM-56 Bulava (NATO: SS-N-32) is an intercontinental-range, submarine-launched, solid propellant ballistic missile developed for the Russian Navy. The missile completed the first stage launch-tests at the end of 2004 and is now deployed in 2013 on the new Borei class of ballistic missile nuclear submarines.
According to the technical information published on the drawing, the new ICBM railway missile is expected to carry 8 to 10 MIRV (Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle) nuclear warheads and will be able to reach a target at a maximum distance of 8,000 km.