Russia will only be able to adopt a new 100-ton liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) intended to penetrate the US missile defense system by 2022, the manufacturer said on Tuesday.
Russian military mentioned the possibility of the new ICBMs in 2009 but the official decision to launch development of the new silo-based missile designed to replace the Voyevoda R-36M2 Satan ICBM was only announced late last year.
“Statistics says it will take about ten years,” said Andrei Goryaev, deputy director of the Russian missile maker NPO Mashinostroyeniya.
He said it was hard to make any forecasts about the timeframe. “If the country has not done it for 30 years then difficulties are inevitable,” he said.
Strategic Missile Forces chief Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said in December that Russia’s current solid-propellant ICBMs might be unable to penetrate U.S. missile defenses that the country is deploying in Europe to protect against possible attacks from ‘rogue states’ such as Iran and North Korea.
Russia has expressed concerns that the U.S. missile shield might threaten its national security.
Presently, Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces reportedly have over 400 ICBMs, including 171 Topol (SS-25), 70 Topol-M (SS-27), and three RS-24 Yars missiles.