On May 23, 2012 the Rocket Forces and the Space Forces crews performed a successful launch of a prototype of a new ICBM. According to the official report, the missile launch took place at 10:15 MSK (06:15 UTC) from a mobile launcher deployed at the Plesetsk launch site. If the Rocket Forces representative was quoted correctly, the missile carried a single warhead, which reached its designated target at the Kura test site.

This appears to be the second test of the new missile, which is developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. The first test, on September 27, 2011, was unsuccessful. Few details about the missile are known. Judging from the press reports, it appears to be a development of the Topol-M/Yars line, although it is probably different enough to be considered a completely new ICBM. Some sources suggest that the missile uses a new propellant.

As I mentioned earlier, development of yet another new ICBM hardly makes any sense (well, it does for MITT). Don't forget that there is a new "heavy silo-based ICBM" project somewhere. Of course, the new missile was immediately advertised as a potential response to the U.S. missile defense plans. No surprises there - any nonsense seems to be justified if it is billed as something that could counter missile defense. Missile defense is the gift that keeps on giving.