MOSCOW — Russia on Wednesday test-fired a series of short- and long-range nuclear-capable missiles as part of an unannounced check of the readiness of its massive Soviet-era force.
The defense ministry said several ballistic missiles were successfully launched from the Bryansk and Svyatoy Georgy Pobedonosets submarines stationed in the Barents and Okhotsk Seas.
The ground-based strategic forces also fired one Topol and one Voyevod intercontinental ballistic missile from positions in northern and central Russia.
A military spokesman told Interfax that both missiles hit their assigned targets on the Russian Far East's Kamchatka Peninsula.
The country's armed forces also test-fired four Iskander and Tochka-U short-range rockets as well as about 15 S-300 and S-400 air defense missiles that Russia's produces primarily for export.
Russia is the only country in the world to still fire intercontinental ballistic missiles at specific targets as part of periodic tests.
Most of the launches are performed to either ensure the safety of Russia's aging arsenal or to test new rockets that could penetrate a missile defense system now gradually being deployed by NATO in Europe.
© AFP 2013