Vladimir Putin last night fired a ‘new intercontinental ballistic missile’ towards Kazakhstan hitting a target at a firing range in a show of strength to the West, it was claimed.
Full details of the mysterious rocket were not initially released but experts believe it to be a powerful Topol-ME system.
It was fired from the Kapustrin Yar test site in the Astrakhan region and hit the Sary-Shagan range in neighbouring Kazakhstan.
A spectacular video shows the late night launch as Russians today mark the 62nd anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s blastoff in Vostok 1 to be the first man in space.
The new weapon comes amid the war in Ukraine and as US President Joe Biden landed in Northern Ireland.
In an official statement, the Russian defence ministry said: ‘The combat crew of the Strategic Missile Troops successfully launched a intercontinental ballistic missile of the land-based mobile missile system from the Kapustin Yar State Central Training Ground in the Astrakhan Region.’
The launch was aimed at ‘testing the advanced military supply of intercontinental ballistic missiles’, reported TASS citing the ministry.
‘The launch permitted proving that design and engineering solutions used in the development of new strategic missile complexes are correct,’ said the ministry.
The exercise head hit a ‘hypothetical target’ at Sary-Shagan which Russia uses under agreement with Kazakhstan.
‘The launch fully dispatched its mission,’ said the ministry.
Outlet Military Russia and others indicated the launch was a test ‘apparently for the first time’…of advanced combat equipment 15Zh55ME Topol-ME also known as Yars-E.
The rocket can be unleashed from a mobile launcher, it stated.
A Topol-ME launch from Kapustrin Yar had been predicted for this year.
It is believed to be a development of the old Topol system.
Russia is also due to carry out more tests with its big beast Satan-2 rockets, which appears subject to more delays after a failure to meet a deployment deadline at the end of 2022.