June 13, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported an ABM test launch of a short-range missile that has been deployed since 1983. Such test launches are an annual event intended to confirm the missiles’ viability.
Valagin’s article does not state which missile was tested, indicating only that it had a launch mass of 9.6 tons and that it used a solid-fuel rocket engine. According to experts, those are the characteristics of the 53T6 interceptor which is part of the A-135 Amur ABM system.
This system is intended to repel a limited nuclear strike on Russia’s capital and the central industrial region, in accordance with the 1972 ABM Treaty.
The launch took place from the Sary-Shagan launch site in Kazakhstan, where it is outside of the US reconnaissance satellite field of observation. The included video was first published on December 12, 2007, but it remains current.