On Tuesday (30 November), RVSN Commander, General-Lieutenant Sergey Karakayev had his first encounter with the media since taking over the land-based strategic missile force in June. Krasnaya zvezda covered it, of course.
Karakayev said all newly deployed mobile Topol-Ms will be the MIRVed (RS-24 / Yars) variant rather than single-warhead missiles. He said a sixth silo-based Topol-M regiment will go on combat duty at Tatishchevo this month, and more silo-based deployments will occur next year.
Karakayev also said:
“To support the required balance of forces in carrying out the mission of nuclear deterrence, qualitative improvement of the components of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces [SYaS or СЯС] is required. Russia’s missile industry will continue development of new missile systems, including new technical solutions incorporated within missile systems of the ‘Topol-M’ type.”
The media repeated ITAR-TASS to the effect that most experts think this means Moscow will develop a heavy silo-based ICBM to replace Russia’s remaining ‘heavies’ — UR-100NUTTKh (SS-19 / Stiletto) and R-36M2 (RS-20V or Voyevoda, SS-18 / Satan Mod 6).
Rossiyskaya gazeta added that 10,000 military and 8,000 civilian posts in the RVSN had been cut over the past 5 years. But further cuts in RVSN armies, divisions, and regiments aren’t anticipated.