Saturday, March 15, 2008

ICBM history lesson

United Press International published last week a short article on the history of the Soviet RT-23 (SS-24 Scapel) rail-based missile system (part 1, part 2). A nice primer.

The author first provides some background information on the RT-23 before he turns to the decision to scrap the missiles. He raises concerns about the favoring of an extension of the service life of the SS-18 Satan and the SS-19 Stiletto and the production of the Topol-M over keeping the RT-23.

He concludes wistfully, that the RT-23 has at least a better fate than that of the Buran multiple-use booster, which has been turned into an entertainment and restaurant complex: Russia's last rail missile system stands in the central museum of the Oktyabrskaya Railway at St. Petersburg's Warsaw Terminal.

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