MOSCOW, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russia began military exercises employing its "Yars" land-based mobile missile systems, the Defense Ministry reported here Wednesday.

Deployed operationally since 2010, the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile has a potential range of 11,000 km, and can carry four 150-kiloton warheads or 10 independently targetable warheads.

The Novosibirsk regiment of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces will carry out exercises focusing on repelling simulated ground and air attacks and counteracting sabotage troops. Exercises also involve searching, blocking and attacking simulated enemy at night.

This year the forces will conduct more than 150 strategic and specialized exercises, involving a number of military forces and hardware. Moreover, the number of combat training drills will increase by 50 percent from that of 2016.

"Yars" is a Russian MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear weapon first tested on May 29, 2007. It was deployed in several places in the country to replace the long-serving Topol missile.