Russia Test-Fires ICBM to Target in Kazakhstan

Russia Test-Fires ICBM to Target in Kazakhstan

MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Space Forces test-launched a Topol RS-12M intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The launch took place at 9:30 p.m. Moscow time (17:30 GMT) from the Kapustin Yar testing range in southern Russia’s Astrakhan Region.

The simulated warhead hit a designated target at a test range in Kazakhstan, spokesman Col. Igor Yegorov said.

The RS-12M Topol (NATO reporting name SS-25 Sickle), a single-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile, entered service in 1985.

It has a maximum range of 10,000 kilometers (6,125 miles) and can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of up to 550 kilotons.

The Defense Ministry earlier announced plans to retire most of its outdated SS-18 Satan, SS-19 Stiletto and SS-25 Sickle (Topol) ICBMs and replace them with SS-27 Sickle-B (Topol-M) and RS-24 Yars missiles by 2021.

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US Fighter Jets to Patrol Baltic Airspace

US Fighter Jets to Patrol Baltic Airspace

RIGA, December 27 (RIA Novosti) – The US Air Force will patrol the airspace over the Baltic states for four months starting from January, Lithuanian media reported Friday, citing the country’s military.

Four US F-15C Eagle fighter jets will replace the current Belgian F-16AM Fighting Falcons on a rotation basis.

A round-the-clock mission to guard the airspace over Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia has been conducted since 2004 when the ex-Soviet republics joined NATO. The three states say they do not have their own air assets to ensure safety and security of national and NATO airspace.

Patrols have been carried out on a three- to four-month rotation basis by 14 NATO states, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Poland from Lithuania’s first air base in Zokniai, near the northern city of Siauliai.

Deployments usually comprise four fighter planes and between 50 and 100 support personnel.

The three Baltic countries reportedly pay some $4 million per year to cover the deployment expenses.

Russia Buries Famed AK-47 Inventor Kalashnikov

Russia Buries Famed AK-47 Inventor Kalashnikov

MYTISHCHI (Moscow Region), December 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s most famous gun designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov, was buried Friday at a new military cemetery outside Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and a host of other high-ranking officials came to pay their respects at the funeral, held with full state honors at the Federal Military Memorial Complex in the town of Mytishchi.

Putin laid red roses on the coffin and offered condolences to Kalashnikov’s family members.

The military paid a fitting last tribute to Kalashnikov with salvoes fired from the AK-47, the iconic assault rifle that he designed and which brought him lasting fame.

Yelena Kalashnikova, daughter of the famed weapons designer, said at the funeral that her father had dedicated his whole life to the service of the Motherland and “never thought of anything else.”

Kalashnikov, who died Monday at the age of 94, was initially to be buried in his hometown of Izhevsk, the capital of Russia’s Udmurtia republic.

However, the Russian authorities decided that a man who made such a significant contribution to the country’s defense and holds the title of Hero of Russia among other honors, should be buried in a more prominent place.

Over 60,000 people paid their last respects to Kalashnikov in two days of mourning in Izhevsk before his coffin was flown on Thursday to Moscow.

The Kalashnikov Group, the newly formed small-arms holding that still manufactures derivatives of the AK-47, has said it plans to turn Kalashnikov’s office into a small museum and to establish an award bearing his name to honor its best branches and employees.

Izhevsk already has a dedicated Kalashnikov museum, opened in 2004, that includes a range where visitors can fire air gun copies of AK series weapons on a range.

An estimated 100 million AK-47s have been built worldwide since it went into mass production in February 1947. The reliable and easy-to-use assault rifle is still favored by an assortment of armed forces, guerrilla groups, terrorists and even common thugs in at least 55 countries.

Derivatives of the AK-47, which has a vodka and even a rap song named in its honor, are produced in about 30 countries, including Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Finland, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden and South Africa.

New Russian Attack Sub to Join Navy on Dec. 30

New Russian Attack Sub to Join Navy on Dec. 30

MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s first Project 885M Yasen-class attack submarine, the Severodvinsk, will be handed over to the navy on December 30, a defense industry source told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

The submarine, designated as Graney-class by NATO, has been under construction at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia since 1993.

“The acceptance act for the first Yasen will be signed at Sevmash on December 30,” the source said.

Media reports previously said the navy’s main command refused to commission the nuclear-powered Severodvinsk over unspecified technical problems.

However, Sevmash said in October that the submarine had completed four rounds of additional sea trials since May and that all such trials were a success.

The Severodvinsk is one of eight Yasen-class attack boats ordered by the Russian navy. The second and third subs of the series, the Kazan and the Novosibirsk, are being built under the updated Project 885M Yasen-M design.

The Severodvinsk has a submerged displacement of 13,800 tons, length of 119 meters, speed of 31 knots, and can dive to 600 meters. It has a crew of 90 including 32 officers.

The submarine has been designed to launch cruise missiles with conventional or nuclear warheads to a range of up to 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers), as well as effectively engage other submarines, surface warships and land-based targets.

Its main armament consists of 24 Oniks (SS-N-26) and Kalibr (SS-N-27) cruise missiles, self-guided torpedoes and mines.

Russia-Led Security Bloc Plans to Spend $1Bln on Weaponry

Russia-Led Security Bloc Plans to Spend $1Bln on Weaponry

MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) – Members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance of former Soviet states, are planning to allocate some 33 billion rubles ($1 billion) to procure new weaponry for its joint rapid reaction force, a senior CSTO official said Thursday.

According to CSTO Deputy General Secretary Valery Semerikov, an arms procurement program for the bloc’s rapid reaction force has been approved by all member states and will be soon signed by their presidents.

“We will begin implementing this program in 2014. It will require an allocation of some 33 billion rubles,” Semerikov said at a news conference in RIA Novosti.

The CSTO comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The agreement to create a joint rapid-reaction force was signed by the leaders of all CSTO member states in 2009.

The force reportedly includes an airborne division and an air assault brigade from Russia, and an air assault brigade from Kazakhstan. The remaining members contribute a battalion-size force each, although Uzbekistan only agreed to “delegate” its detachments to take part in operations on an ad hoc basis.

In line with the agreement, the force will be used “to repulse military aggression, conduct anti-terrorist operations, fight transnational crime and drug trafficking, and neutralize the effects of natural disasters.”

Outlining Russia’s priorities during its current CSTO presidency, Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized further development of military cooperation and strengthening of the CSTO’s rapid-reaction force in light of future peacekeeping missions as well as the fight against terrorism and drug-trafficking in Central Asia.

Russian Rocket Puts Telecoms Satellite Into Orbit

Russian Rocket Puts Telecoms Satellite Into Orbit

MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian Proton-M heavy-lift rocket put a government communications satellite into orbit on Thursday in the final launch of the year for the Russian space industry.

The rocket lifted off at 2:50 p.m. Moscow time from the Baikonur space center in a televised broadcast. Its payload, a 3.4-ton Express-AM5 communications satellite, was successfully placed into a parking orbit nine minutes later.

The satellite sits atop a Briz-M upper stage that will place the satellite in a geostationary orbit during a subsequent burn later Thursday night.

The Express-AM5 will provide communications services for the Russian government as well as digital television and radio signals and two-way VSAT transmissions.

It was designed by Krasnoyarsk-based Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, which also oversaw the production of Russia’s GLONASS navigation satellites.

The satellite will be operated by a communications company owned by the Russian government and has an expected lifetime of 15 years.

A second satellite in the series, the Express-AM6, is scheduled for launch next year.

The future of Proton launches at Baikonur was thrown into doubt earlier this year after a Proton exploded in July raining hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals on the Kazakh countryside. Moscow and Astana signed a three-year roadmap earlier this week on the joint use of Baikonur, the only launch site for Proton

Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement

Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement

26.12.2013 Red Star
The presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on military-technical cooperation “in the margin” of meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (VEES). Under the agreement, Russian and Kazakh defense companies will participate directly in the performance of defense contracts in both countries.

Agreement simplifies the procedure of the relationship between the military-industrial complex with the security agencies of each party.