A Russian-made intercontinental ballistic missile outfitted onto the advanced BzhRK Barguzin rail-based strategic missile complex has successfully passed a pop-up launch test for the first time.
Defense analyst Victor Murakhovsky told Radio Sputnik that this unique system is virtually undetectable.
Murakhovsky mentioned that some have referred to the new complex, which carries up to six RS-24 Yars rail-based version missiles, as “a sheer nightmare” for foreign intelligence services.
“I would agree with this since there are no attributes which could be used to detect this rail-based missile complex,” he said. “There is a new launching platform and a new combat control system which uses protected digital communication channels. There are new input programs for missions,” he detailed.
The testing took place at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome approximately two weeks ago in early November. It paves the way for full-scale flight development tests.
“Pop-up launch tests are conducted to determine whether the complex is operational. The missile and the transporter-launcher container were developed some time ago, but the launching platform is a novel solution. The trials are meant to test its performance,” the analyst explained.
The work on the BzhRK Barguzin rail-based strategic missile complex is proceeding according to plan, he added. The system is expected to be developed by 2018.
The missile of the BzhRK Barguzin rail-based strategic missile complex carries up to 10<16 warheads. The rail-based RS-24 missile is 20-30 meters long, it weighs 45–50 ton and its range is 12,600 km (7,800 mi).
The BzhRK Barguzin rail-based strategic missile complex will be a major upgrade compared to the rail-based strategic missile complexes developed in the Soviet Union and they were removed from operational use in 2005.
“Soviet-era platforms employed railway cars, different in size from standard rail carriages. The new missile complex fits onto standard rail gauge. The wagons carrying [the recently tested] missiles resemble a freight refrigerator car for instance,” he explained. Murakhovsky also said that the new system is second to none in the world.
“The United States was working on a similar program during the Cold War,” he said. “There was an idea to lay rail tracks underground and place launching platforms there. Financing was wasted and they did not create anything even remotely resembling the Russian system.”