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Friday, December 22, 2006

Russia's Missile Forces successfully launch SS-18 Satan ICBM

MOSCOW: Russia's Strategic Missile Forces have conducted a successful test launch of an RS-20V Voyevoda (NATO codename SS-18 Satan) intercontinental ballistic missile, the forces' press office said Thursday.

The launch was made at 11:20 a.m. Moscow time (8:20 a.m. GMT), a spokesman said, adding that the missile, launched from Orenburg in the south Urals, successfully hit hypothetical targets on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The launch was made to test the RS-20V's flight and technical characteristics to extend the service life of the R-36M2 missile systems to 20 years, the spokesman said.

"Before the launch, the missile had been in operation for 19 years," he said.

He said the RS-20V was a modernized version of the RS-20B.

The RS-20V Voyevoda was developed in Ukraine's design bureau Yuzhnoye. In 1988, the system, equipped with this missile, was adopted by the Missile Forces. The missile has a maximum flight range of 11,000 kilometers (6,840 miles) and a launch weight of 211 metric tons.
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