Russia appears to have conducted a flight test of the Project 4202 vehicle on February 26, 2015 from one of the silos in Dombarovskiy. Project 4202 is believed to be some kind of a hypersonic vehicle that will be delivered by the UR-100NUTTH/SS-19 missile. (See also the earlier post.)
Project 4202 launches have never been officially acknowledged, but bits of information appear here and there and there are enough dots to connect, so there is a fairly high degree of certainty that the launch indeed took place. (I must say that I can claim no credit for finding the dots - most of them have been discovered by others.)
First, TsENKI (Center for Operation of Space Ground-Based Infrastructure) in its 2014 acquisition plan listed two Project 4202-related contracts. In the document, the launch is scheduled to take place in January 2015, but it was later postponed. Industry sources were said to confirm that the test was moved to February.
And indeed, on February 26, 2015 a note on a Russian site, which is known to be well connected and generally reliable, said something to the effect that a test is upcoming. The post has been removed since, but only after it was updated to say that the test was unsuccessful.
Finally, a number of people have found a message posted by someone from Yasnyy (which is the name of the city at the Dombarovskiy missile base) later on February 26. The author said that in Yasnyy people felt a missile launch that took place around 13:00 local time (that would be 8:00 UTC).
The February 26, 2015 launch is not the first flight test of the Project 4202 system - at least one took place around September 26, 2013. It appears that another test took place some time in 2014, maybe in September. All we know about the 2014 test is that there is an unaccounted event in the official record of launches conduced that year (the 2013 4202 launch also was not included in the official account). None of the test appear to have been successful.
I guess we'll have to wait for a successful flight test to see an
official report on Project 4202 and learn more about the system.
It is also possible to pay attention
to the start of the Rockot space launcher (with three Gonets
satellites) planned for today and suddenly postponed with three
The Rockot and the 4202 use the same boosters 15S300 (1st and 2nd stages of SS-19 ICBM):
It can direct at certain conclusions...
It is interesting also that the official
NPOMash newspaper tells us that for 2015 to firm production still of
"two products on RVSN subject" is ordered:
Besides, as it becomes clear, there was a notice around falling of stages:
This area is for RS-18 stages from Orenburg region:
On Rockot, it would be strange if the launcher has failed - it's an old and reliable missile. I would think it's the payload. But it's an interesting data point.
Maybe we should expect another test later this year. In September?
Here is one more Yugra story: http://ura.ru/content/khanti/06-09-2012/news/1052147153.html. Since all these stories are from September 2012, it appears that the launch in 2013 was the first in the series (from Dombarovskiy anyway).
One of such additions is that the Dukhov VNIIA also works according to this program. It is confirmed by open sources:
эллипс с размерами осей 60×30 км, координатами центра 60°11 ’00"с.ш. 76°04’00?в.д. и азимутом большой оси 35°
It's about 1300 km from Dombarovskiy (in the direction of Kura). What's interesting, this doesn't look like a particularly lofted trajectory, which one would use to test a glider. But it's worth looking into.