The RS-24 Yars also known as RT-24 Yars or Topol’-MR (Russian: PC-24 «Ярс», NATO reporting name: SS-27 Mod 2) is a Russian MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear weapon intercontinental ballistic missile first tested on May 29, 2007, after a secret military R&D project, to replace the older R-36 and UR-100N that have been in use for nearly 50 years. RS-24 is a missile that is heavier than the current Topol-M, and which some reports say can carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads. The 2007 tests were publicized as a response to the missile shield that the United States were planning to deploy in Europe. RS-24 has been deployed operationally since 2010.
In June 2008 the chief designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, Yuri Solomonov, announced that the RS-24 is an enhanced, MIRVed development of the Topol-M missile that would finish all testing in 2008 and most likely be deployed in 2009. According to General Nikolai Solovtsov, the commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF), the first RS-24 missiles will be deployed in Teykovo in 2009.
On March 17, 2009, General Solovtsov announced that the first regiment of RS-24 ICBMs will be put into service in December 2009 when START-1 is set to expire. He later repeated that statement on May 7. According to the Russian rocket forces the first six RS-24 missiles will be mobile.
Further on October 10, 2009, on ITAR-TASS, General Andrei Shvaichenko, the new SRF commander, confirmed the December 2009 deployment of the RS-24 which will support the existing Topol-M (RS-12М2) missile complex.
Testing for the new-generation ICBM was completed in mid-July 2010, and the first missiles were deployed shortly after on July 19.
In December 2010 the 54th Guards Rocket Division in Teykovo received its second delivery of RS-24 missile systems. In total 6 missiles were deployed by the end of 2010. 3 more mobile missile systems were deployed in July 2011 and then the first regiment was operational. In December 2011 first division of second regiment with 3 missiles was put on combat duty and second division will be deployed by 2011 year end. On August 16, 2012, Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) spokesman Col. Vadim Koval reported that a second regiment of the 54th Guards Rocket Division in Teikovo, central Russia will be fully equipped with Yars mobile ballistic missile systems in 2012.
Russia fully deployed the first Yars regiment consisting of three battalions in August 2011, and put two battalions of the second regiment on combat duty on December 27, 2011. The deployment of the third battalion of the second regiment completed the rearming of the Teikovo division with Yars systems. The two regiments consist of a total of 18 missile systems and several mobile command posts. Two more missile divisions will start receiving the Yars systems in 2013.
The 39th Guards Rocket Division, at Novosibirsk in Siberia, will receive mobile Yars systems, while the 28th Guards Rocket Division at Kozelsk (in central Russia) will be armed with the silo-based version of the system.The Strategic Missile Troops said that the Topol-M and RS-24 ballistic missiles would be the mainstay of the ground-based component of Russia’s nuclear triad and would account for no less than 80% of the SMF’s arsenal by 2016.
Three missile regiments of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces have been rearmed with the Yars systems in 2014.