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Yars

Intercontinental ballistic missile

Yars

The Yars use the same 16x16 chassis as the Topol-M, but is fitted with improved missile

 
 
Country of origin Russia
Entered service 2010
Basing Road mobile and silo based
Crew 3 men
Missile
Missile length 20.9 m
Missile diameter 2 m
Missile weight 49 t
Warhead weight ~ 1.2 t
Number of RVs 6-10 with 100 - 300 kT blast yield each
Range of fire 12 000 km
CEP 150-200 m
Mobility
Engine YaMZ-847 diesel
Engine power 800 hp
Maximum road speed 45 km/h
Range 500 km

 

   The RS-24 Yars is a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. It is an improved version of the previous Topol-M. It is known in the West as SS-29. It uses the same 16x16 wheeled chassis as the Topol-M. Externally it looks similar. However it carries improved missile, that is heavier. The Yars was developed both as a road-mobile and silo-based system, that would use the same missile. It was first tested in 2007 and was adopted by Russian Strategic Missile Forces in 2010. Its production commenced during the same year. It replaced in production the previous Topol-M. As of 2016 Russian Strategic Missile Forces deployed 63 mobile and 10 silo-based Yars ICBMs. These were fielded alongside the Topol-M systems on a 50/50 basis. It is planned that the Yars will become the mainstay of the ground-based component of Russian nuclear triad.

   This solid-fuel missile is similar to that of the Topol-M. It has three stages. It has a range of 12 000 km. The main difference from the previous missile is that Yars is MIRV-equipped and can carry at least 6 independently targetable warheads with 100-300 kT yield. Other sources report that this missile can carry up to 10 re-entry vehicles. It is a huge improvement over the Topol-M, that carries a single 550 kT capacity re-entry vehicle. Though the Topol-M can be rapidly upgraded to carry multiple 150 kT independently-targetable warheads.

   The Yars was designed to evade missile defense systems. This missile maneuvers during the flight and carries both active and passive decoys. It is estimated that it has at least 60-65% chance to penetrate defenses.

   The Yars is slightly more accurate than the Topol-M. It has a CEP of 150-200 m.

   A silo-based version of the Yars is compatible with silo of older Russian ICBMs, that were phased out of service. It uses complete infrastructure of the previous missiles. It only takes to load the new missile into the silo. A typical silo-based unit has 10 Yars missiles and command post.

   A road mobile Yars TEL is based on Belarusian MZKT-79221 16x16 heavy high mobility chassis. This chassis was specially designed for the Topol-M intercontinental missile. First three and last three axles are steered. So this vehicle is very maneuverable for its size. Also it has good cross-country mobility. The TEL vehicle is operated by a crew of three. The Yars mobile launcher has autonomy on roads of 500 km. It allows the vehicle to operate undetected in an area equivalent to a small European country.

   Road mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles are harder to detect and hit. The Yars has a high probability of surviving the first strike, once the country has been attacked. Once on high alert, the Yars missiles can leave their bases and operate in remote forest areas to increase their survivability.

   It takes 7 minutes to prepare the missile for launch. The Yars can launch its missile from prepared site, special garage with a sliding roof, or from unprepared position during field deployment. The TEL vehicle can leave its position once the missile is launched.

   During field deployment the Yars TEL is escorted by a number support vehicles, including support vehicle, mobile command posts, signals vehicle, fuel tanker, and a host of other military vehicles with troops to ensure security of the missile. In case of emergency the TEL vehicle can operate autonomously without its escort. A fuel tanker is based on a similar 16x16 chassis, but carries an enormous fuel tank in place of ballistic missile.

   The Yars intercontinental ballistic missile was designed for a service life of about 20 years.

 

Variants

 

   RS-26 Rubezh, also called the Yars-M, is a smaller and lighter version of the Yars. The missile is based on a Belarusian MZKT-79291 12x12 chasis. It is believed that development of this ballistic missiles commenced in 2008. It was planned that the first RS-26 regiment will become operational in 2016. Although the RS-26 is legally an ICBM, it may be that the demonstrated range of 5 800 km is close to the maximum range of the missile. Essentially this missile falls into the class of Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs). Though Russia insists that the RS-26 is an ICBM,  as IRBMs with a range of up to 5 500 km are banned by an Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (or INF treaty). So the Russians found a way to field an intermediate-range ballistic missile and to fill the gap that was once covered by the RSD-10 Pioner (SS-20 Saber) IRBMs.

 

Video of the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile

 
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