Russia staged yesterday the first successful test-launch of a new intercontinental missile designed to pierce the defence system now being deployed by Nato despite Moscow’s fierce complaints.
The highly-symbolic launch came just four days after the alliance formally activated the first stage of a defence shield whose deployment Russia has bitterly opposed out of fears that it may target its own vast nuclear arsenal.
The missile “should raise the combat capabilities of Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces, including by improving their ability to overcome missile defence systems”, defence ministry spokesman Vadim Koval told RIA Novosti.
A military source told the Interfax news agency that the launch was only the second-ever conducted in the top-secret programme.