November 23, 2015 By Kristin Horitski
Russia began deploying an updated version of the SS-25, the Topol-M (RS-12M1) / SS-27, in 1997. The Topol-M carries a single 500 kT nuclear warhead and has a range of 10,500 km.  The Topol-M is a ground-based ICBM and can be housed and launched from an underground silo or Transporter-Erector-Launcher (TEL) vehicle, making it road-mobile. The Topol-M’s navigation system is directed by an onboard GLONASS (Russian GPS) receiver increasing the accuracy of the missile, and the burn-time of the missile’s engine is minimized to help avoid detection by missile defense systems.  The missile also carries countermeasures and targeting decoys, and is capable of evasive maneuvers during the terminal phase to avoid missile interceptors. The Topol-M is also protected from radiation and electromagnetic interference (or electromagnetic pulse), and has a short boost phase to reduce its vulnerability to laser weapon systems. 
Russia’s analysis of the ability of the Topol-M to out-maneuver ballistic missile defense systems makes it a very real threat to U.S. and allied security interests both at home and abroad. The deployment of the Topol-M gives Russia an advantage in outmaneuvering missile defense systems for a first-strike capability and the ability of the Topol-M to be relocated and launched from virtually anywhere in Russia adds to its survivability.
 RS-12M1 Topol-M (SS-27). Missile Threat. Last updated December 5, 2012. http://missilethreat.com/missiles/rs-12m1-topol-m-ss-27/.
 Topol-M Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), Russia. Army Technology. http://www.army-technology.com/projects/topol-m-intercontinental-ballistic-missile-icbm/.