Russia’s Strategic Missile Force commander Colonel General Sergey Karakayev stated during a recent press briefing that Russia’s outdated Topol/Topol-M Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) will be replaced with the more advanced RS-24 Yars ICBM, capable of launching the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle.
Karakayev announced that the Russian Strategic Missile Force is actively expanding its groupings and advancing its capabilities in line with its 2023 objectives. He emphasized that all scheduled combat training exercises for the year have been successfully completed with the highest level of combat readiness.
According to Karakayev, the missile troops have achieved their goals for the year, and by the end of the year, the modern weapons’ proportion in the arsenal is expected to reach 88% and that the force has already made plans for the upcoming year and is fully prepared to implement them.
The Russian defence ministry reported that Russian rocket forces have recently loaded a new Yars intercontinental ballistic missile into a silo for the first time at the Kozelsk base located in the Kaluga region, southwest of Moscow.
The road-mobile and silo-based RS-24 Yars missile is 23 meters long and has the capability to carry multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), which means that the missile has the ability to deliver several nuclear warheads to different targets. This marks the first time that the Yars missile has been loaded into a silo.
Russia currently holds the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, with the United States following closely behind. Together, these two countries possess more than 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.
Russia, in particular, has amassed approximately 5,889 nuclear warheads, while the United States has around 5,244, as reported by the Federation of American Scientists. Out of these, both countries have approximately 1,670 strategic nuclear warheads that are presently deployed.