Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) will be rearmed with multiple-warhead RS-24 missiles instead of RS-12M Topol-M (SS-27 Sickle) mobile intercontinental ballistic missile systems, according to SMF commander Lieutenant-General Sergei Karakayev.

“The mobile missile system with the RS-24 ballistic missile is an improved version of the Topol-M, and therefore it was decided to rearm the SMF with this type of missile system,” Karakayev said.

“At the same time the Topol-M mobile missile system will not be supplied to the SMF in the future.”

The RS-24 missile has six independent warheads capable of penetrating more anti-missile defence systems than the single warhead Topol-M.

Topol-M and RS-24 missiles will account for 80% of the SMF’s arsenal by 2016.

SMF will conduct ten intercontinental ballistic missile launches in 2011, twice as many as in 2010, according to RIA Novosti.