The RT-2PM2 or Topol-M is a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile, known in the West as SS-27 Sickle-B.

On the outskirts of the Russian capital Moscow, people saw Topol-M strategic missile complexes moving in an “unknown” direction. This raises a number of questions about whether these strategic missile systems will be used in the special military operation in the Donbass. Currently, in fact, it is not known exactly where the Topol-M strategic missile systems are located. There is also no official statement from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on this matter.

According to military experts, this action could be a deterrent to Western military intervention, in the event that Russia or its allies are attacked. Sources reported that at least four Topol-M missile launchers were on the move. In the context of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the statement of the Russian leader that any intervention from outside powers to counter Russia’s military campaign would be met with an “immediate” response.

RT-2PM2 Topol-M
RT-2PM2 Topol-M

The RT-2PM2 or Topol-M is a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile, known in the West as SS-27 Sickle-B. Its development commenced in 1993 as an improved version of the previous Topol, and entered service with Russian Strategic Missile Forces in 1998. As of 2014 a total of 78 Topol-M missiles were deployed by the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, including 18-road-mobile missiles and 60 silo-based.

The Topol-M is a cold-launched, three-stage, solid-propellant, silo-based or road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile. The missile’s length is 22.7 m and the first stage has a body diameter of 1.9 m. The mass at launch is 47,200 kg, including the 1,200 kg payload. Topol-M carries a single warhead with an 800 Kt yield but the design is compatible with MIRV warheads.

According to chief designer Yury Solomonov, the missile can carry four to six warheads along with decoys. Its minimum range is estimated to be 2,000 km and the maximum range 10,500 km. It has three solid rocket stages with inertial, autonomous flight control utilizing an onboard GLONASS receiver. It is reputed to have the highest accuracy of any Russian ICBM with a CEP of 200m.

The Topol-M may be deployed either inside a reinforced missile silo or from an APU launcher mounted on the MZKT-79221 “Universal” 16-wheeled transporter-erector-launcher. Road mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles are harder to detect and hit. It has a high probability of survival the first strike, once the country has been attacked. Once on high alert, the Topol can leave its base and operate in remote forest areas to increase its survivability.

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