On September 3, 2011 the Strategic Rocket Forces conducted a successful launch of a Topol (SS-25) missile. The missile was launched from the Plesetsk test site at 13:46 MSK (09:46 UTC) toward the Kura test site in Kamchatka.
According to the ministry of defense report, the missile was produced in 1988 and had remained in service until March 2011. The launch confirmed the 23-year service life of the missile. Earlier test, conducted in 2010, extended Topol's service life to 23 years from 21 years first confirmed in the October 2007 launch. The ministry of defense representative mentioned that today's launch could allow further extension of Topol's service life.
The officially stated purpose of the test was "to confirm stability of the technical characteristics of missiles of this type [...] and to test future combat payloads of intercontinental ballistic missiles." The warhead that was used in today's test was described as "an experimental warhead." Most likely the flight involved testing anti-missile defense technologies. Topol missiles have been used for these tests in the past - in the December 2010 test the missile was launched Kapustin Yar toward Sary-Sharan missile defense test range.
This is the first Topol launch in 2011 of the three that the Rocket Forces were planning to conduct this year.