Russian media are hailing an intercontinental ballistic missile test, calling it a successful demonstration of the military's capability to pierce the U.S. anti-missile defense shield.
The Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile has unique capabilities, making it virtually invulnerable, Russia's leading television broadcaster, Channel 1, commented Wednesday.
Trud, a pro-government daily, said the American anti-missile defense umbrella was no longer a problem for Russia because the test-launch demonstrated that the newest warhead could overcome it.
On Tuesday, Russia test-fired the new missile a new Topol, which boasts a range of some 10,000 kilometers. It was fired from a ground-based launcher and hit a target in a testing ground in neighboring Kazakhstan, the Defense Ministry reported.
Russia's Kommersant daily said the military claimed that "maneuvers" by the warhead during the final stretch of its trajectory would prevent missile defense systems from intercepting and destroying the incoming missile.
This would therefore be Moscow's "asymmetrical" response to the U.S. missile defense system, it said.
Deployment of the new warheads would begin next year, Strategic Missile Forces commander Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov announced last month.
Russia recently test-fired a Bulava missile from a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. The Bulava is a modified, sea-based version of the land based Topol-M.
If successful, Topol-Bulava missiles would be the first intercontinental weapon system Moscow has created since it withdrew from the SALT-2 treaty with the U.S. in response to the American missile defense plans.
The stated aim of the U.S. program is to provide protection against the threat of ballistic missiles fired by rogue states, not by major missile powers like Russia.
Russia has long argued it had the capability to defeat the U.S. anti-missile defense program due to the size of its ballistic missile arsenal.
After President Bush pulled out of the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty to pursue the new anti-missile defense program, Russia announced it no longer felt bound by previous agreements that prohibited missiles with multiple warheads.
Russia has looked at equipping its new Topol missile with multiple warheads, an option that would reduce the weapon's vulnerability to the U.S. missile defense system, which is designed to attack one warhead at a time.