When the system is used the roof of a train carriage opens and a missile is raised vertically into the air before it is fired at its target
BY CHRIS KITCHING
11:19, 23 NOV 2016
UPDATED11:57, 23 NOV 2016
Russia is strengthening its military arsenal by bringing back “nuclear trains” which can launch intercontinental missiles that are hidden in carriages.
Plans for the Barguzin “railway-based combat rocket system” are moving to the next stage as escalating tensions between Russia and Nato countries have sparked fears of a new war.
Military sources told Russian news agencies that the trains will be able to carry up to six Yars or Yars-M thermonuclear ballistic missiles and launchers.
Once the system is fully operational the roof of a carriage will open and a missile will be raised vertically into the air before it is fired at its target.
Plans for the mobile missile system were announced around two years ago, and early testing has been hailed as a success.
The missile trains could enter service as early as 2018 once further tests are completed.
A source told Moscow-based Interfax that the early tests were conducted at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in north-western Russia two weeks ago.
The source said: “They were fully successful, paving the way for the start of flight tests.”
Flight tests are likely to begin in 2017, the source added.
Last year the government-owned daily newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported that the trains could travel up to 600 miles a day and be hidden in tunnels so they couldn’t be detected by planes or satellites.
Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, previously told the country’s media that the Barguzin system would be far better than its predecessor in terms of accuracy, range and missiles.
He said the system could remain in service until 2040.
The Barguzin system is based on a similar Cold War-era system which could launch RT-23 Molodets missiles from a silo or train carriage which looked like a refrigerator car.
Twelve trains could carry three missiles each and were stationed in the Kostroma, Perm and Krasnoyarsk regions.
Production in Ukraine stopped after the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991. The silo-based missiles were deactivated a few years later and the last of the rail-based missiles were withdrawn from service in Russia in 2005.
Meanwhile, Russia and President Vladimir Putin have been accused of stoking tensions after moving anti-ship missiles to disputed Pacific islands off Japan and Kaliningrad, which borders Nato countries Lithuania and Poland.
Original post mirror.co.uk