deadlocked over a plan by NATO to deploy a European missile defense system, Moscow showed the world what it meant by “technical response” last week by holding what has been described as the most comprehensive test of its strategic nuclear arsenal since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
According to Russian media, President Vladimir Putin, whom critics
have accused of overplaying the nuclear threat from the West to boost
his political fortunes domestically, oversaw the entire series of tests,
which were conducted mostly on Oct. 19. All three components of
Moscow’s nuclear “triad” — strategic bombers, land and sea-launched
long-range nuclear missiles — as well as communications and
command-and-control systems featuring “new algorithms,” were tested.
The tests included the launch of an RS-12M Topol Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from Plesetsk in northern Russia — the world’s first operational ICBM base, built in the 1950s — and an R-29R
from a submerged submarine operating in the Sea of Okhotsk. Both
missiles traveled a distance of more than 6,000km before hitting their
targets. Meanwhile, two long-range bombers, a Tupolev Tu-95 “Bear” and a
Tu-160 “Blackjack,” each fired two nuclear-capable cruise missiles at a
test range in Komi, northwestern Russia. All the missiles involved were
fitted with dummy warheads.http://thediplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2012/10/22/russia-flexes-its-atomic-muscles/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+the-diplomat+%28The+Diplomat+RSS%29