Country of origin
Road mobile and silo based
~ 1.2 t
Number of RVs
6-10 with 100 - 300 kT blast yield each
Range of fire
12 000 km
Maximum road speed
Yars is a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile. It is an
improved version of the previous
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.
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
a yield of 100-300 kT. 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 warhead. It has been
reported that the Topol-M can be rapidly upgraded to
carry multiple 150 kT independently-targetable warheads.
In 2019 the Avangard re-entry vehicle was declared operational. It is launched
on top of the missile, but unlike a regular warhead that follows a
predictable path, the Avangard travels at hypersonic speed and can
make sharp maneuvers. This makes it much harder to intercept. It was
planned that in 2019 a total of 31 Yars missiles will be equipped
with Avangard hypersonic gliding re-entry vehicles and will be
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.
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
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.
intercontinental ballistic missiles are harder to detect and hit.
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
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.
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.
intercontinental ballistic missile
was designed for a service life of about 20 years.
RS-26 Rubezh, also called the Yars-M, is a smaller and lighter
version of the Yars. The missile is based on a Belarusian
12x12 configuration. 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 insisted that the RS-26 is
an ICBM, as IRBMs with a range of up to 5 500 km
were banned by a 1987 Intermediate-Range 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.