MOSCOW – Russia successfully test-fired a heavy intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday in a launch intended to extend the lifetime of aging Soviet-built weapons.
It was the first time that an RS-20V Voevoda, which NATO identifies as the SS-18 Satan, had been fired from its combat positions in Russia since the 1991 Soviet collapse. Previously, such missiles had been launched from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.
The missile, which was launched from a silo in the Orenburg region in the southern Ural Mountains, hit a designated target on a testing ground on the Far East Kamchatka Peninsula, more than 3,750 miles away.
The heavy missile, capable of slamming 10 individually guided nuclear warheads at targets more than 6,800 miles away, is the heaviest weapon in Russia’s inventory. The SS-18 and another multi-warhead missile, the SS-19, have formed the core of the Russian strategic forces since Soviet times.