It was a bit unusual, to put it mildly, that the annual exercise of the strategic forces that was held yesterday, on October 11, 2018 did not involve an ICBM launch. The only Rocket Forces story was a decontamination training in a number of Yars divisions.

Plesetsk-NOTAMs-2018.jpgAs it turned out, an ICBM launch was apparently part of the plan, but was either cancelled or failed. We can see that from the NOTAM that closed areas around Plesetsk between 11 and 16 of October (it's still active, so the launch may still take place). The location of the first area is a bit odd - it appears to be up-range from the Topol/Yars launch pads. But this appears to be a normal practice - the NOTAM from a Yars launch in June 2018 closed exactly the same area.

The Yars test in June, in fact, was not announced at the time. It was only later the Rocket Forces revealed that there was indeed a test. What is interesting is that the areas closed in October look very different from those closed in June. This may be a difference between Topol and Yars - I need more NOTAMs to compare. Or maybe it's something else. I'll try to look into that.