Many of you probably remember a much publicized missile test, conducted on February 18, 2004. The Rocket Forces reportedly tested a new missile warhead, which, in President Putin's words, were capable "hitting targets at an intercontinental depth," "with a hypersonic speed, high precision and the opportunity of deep manoeuvre in terms of height and course". It was heralded as Russia's response to the U.S. missile defense and the Russian military proudly claimed that the new warhead can penetrate any missile defense system.

Details of the test have never been officially (or otherwise) disclosed, but it is belived that the new weapon in question was a maneuverable warhead for the SS-19/UR-100NUTTH missile (although some reports say it was a SS-25/Topol missile warhead).

It turns out that the test may not be quite the success it was reported at the time. Yuri Solomonov, the General Designer of the Moscow Instinute of Thermal Technology, is reported as saying that the warhead burned up in atmosphere over the Svobodnyy launch site.