Upping the ante in the recent geopolitical brinksmanship over Georgia, Poland, and Ukraine, Russia responded by test-firing its new RS-12M nuclear missile.
The test, launched from a point near Moscow, struck a target in Kamchatka nearly 4,000 miles away. Russia and independent observers deemed the test a success.
The RS-12M is an advanced version of the land-based Topol-M. It is a three-stage ICBM with a range of 12,000 km, carries a 550-KT nuclear warhead, and has an unknown number of advanced "stealth" features designed to prevent interception by ABM (anti ballistic missile) defenses. NATO refers to it as the SS-25 Sickle.
It is road-mobile and launchable with little notice from any point during transit, making it essentially immune to first-strike or counter-strike capabilities. In the 1970s, the US attempted to adopt similar technology with the Midgetman program, but Congress ultimately canceled the initiative.
Russia says the RS-12 was designed to evade the new US "Star Wars" defense shield. Such claims have not been independently verified, and few DoD analysts have expressed firm opinions one way or another.
Rising oil prices have allowed Russia to modernize and re-equip its aging military, with its defense budget rising by 30% annually.
The test follows on the heels of a statement by British Foreign Secretary David Milliband that Russia's invasion of Georgia has meant "the end of peace in Europe". Britain canceled a scheduled set of military exercises with Georgia after Russia stated their participation would be declared an "declaration of war".
Russia has also responded to recent events in Poland and Ukraine by noting that both nations may be the target of a future nuclear attack.
Several EU nations, including France and England, are considering sanctions for the acts.
Russia has also been developing new conventional payloads in recent months.
quote: Chechnya wants independence->Russia doesn't want that->The US does.Tibet wants independence->China doesn't want that->The US does.Ossetia wants independence (from Georgia)->Russia DOES want it->The US doesn't.
quote: A: The U.S. Government supports Russia's territorial integrity and right to defend itself against terrorism. At the same time, we consistently press the Russian Government to end human rights abuses and to prosecute those found responsible. We remain committed to a cessation of violence by all parties and to finding a sustainable political solution to the conflict
quote: "Feel free to exchange Russia with USA, that is how EU view USA.
quote: The TV media failed and didn't provide a balanced view
quote: They've been playing with the gas taps in the Ukraine for a while as well.Seems like its fairly standard boundary finding, pushing to see how far they can go and maintain the status-quo, whilst trying to restore a bit of national pride
quote: Russian jets targeted a key oil pipeline in Georgia yesterday with more than 50 missiles in a raid that raised fears that the conflict would tighten Moscow's stranglehold on Europe's energy supplies.Deep craters pockmarked the landscape south of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, in a Y-shaped pattern straddling the British-operated pipeline. The attack left two deep holes less than 100 yards either side of a pressure vent on the pipeline...
quote: this story is an utter and complete fabrication not one single reputable news agency is reporting this story ...not reuters not the ap...im starting to get really pissed off here
quote: Rude awakening fact #1:Russian missile and rocket technology is one of the most reliable and advanced in the word
quote: Even the new Topol SS-25 carries a CEP (accuracy radius) of 900 meters. The old US MinuteMan III, on the other hand, has had a CEP of <100 meters for decades.
quote: Furthermore, the Space Shuttle is essentially a failed design that is less reliable and much more complex than the old Saturn V launch system which preceeded it.
quote: And do you think when either Russia or the US...
quote: Georgian president Suckashwilly...
quote: I quite frankly don't give a shit what weapon they used on the Ossets, I know that this republic has been de-facto independant for 10 years now, and yet no fighting too place there, except now, right after the Kosovo independence proclamation, nice coincidence, 2008: the year of the independence proclamation; apparently.
quote: I don't turn away from the truth, ....
quote: Today there are 1600+ bodies you can go and count.
quote: everyone who don't understand that the Jews had nowhere else to go but back to there homeland after WW2.
quote: millions of Palestinians homeless is nearly as bad as what the Germans did.
quote: The faster you're moving, the harder it is to change direction. For a ballistic missile, there are even more constraints...during the ballistic phase, maneuvers beyond a certain narrow range will prevent you from ever striking your target, regardless of whether or not you're intercepted.
quote: No. Ratheon's EKV has a velocity of 10 km/sec -- about Mach 33.
quote: Of course. PAC is a theatre defense missile; it's not designed to intercept ICBMs.
quote: This is a repeat and that idiot Bush is leading us into the same brown stuff
quote: rejected the idea of Americas legit right for a world hegemony