Is it wrong that I chuckled when I read this?
Yahoo News said:A rocket prepares to launch in 2009 at the the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia where an experimental …
Moscow (AFP) - A surface-to-air missile crashed shortly after being launched in northern Russia on Wednesday, Russian news agencies said, in a failed test that will be seen as an embarrassment for the country's military forces.
An official speaking on condition of anonymity initially told AFP the incident had involved an experimental military rocket, but state-owned weapons manufacturer Almaz-Antey was later quoted as saying it was an Antey-2500 missile that fell back to the ground.
The test was meant to "give an assessment of the manoeuvrability of a modernised missile of the surface-to-air Antey-2500 missile system," the firm's spokesman told Russian news agencies.
The missile "veered off-course and self-destructed" shortly after its launch, the spokesman said, with debris falling within the security zone of the Plesetsk military cosmodrome.
The Antey-2500 missile system is an upgraded version of Russia's sophisticated S-300 air defence system. Russia in February notably offered to deliver the new missiles to Iran.
Regional authorities said in a statement the crash happened seven kilometres (four miles) from the Plesetsk military launch pad in the northern Arkhangelsk region, without giving details of the device that was launched.
An official from the Arkhangelsk region had earlier told AFP that a military rocket had crashed without causing injuries or damages.
The Russian space agency declined comment. The defence ministry provided no immediate comment.
President Vladimir Putin has made modernising the army a top priority of his 15-year rule, with the armed forces acquiring new missiles and other weapons after years of post-Soviet neglect.
Russia's space industry has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years but accidents at the Plesetsk military cosmodrome are believed to be very rare.
Amid huge sensitivities surrounding Russia's military programme, Moscow appeared to enforce a virtual blackout on the crash.