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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia set to launch 5 ballistic missiles by yearend

RIA Novosti

26/10/2007 13:55 VLASIKHA (Moscow Region), October 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will conduct five launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles by the end of 2007, the SMF commander said Friday.

"By the end of this year, we will test launch another five missiles, including a RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto), a RS-12M (SS-25 Sickle), a missile interceptor and a heavy RS-20 (SS-18 Satan)," Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov told a news conference.

He said that seven ICBM launches had been conducted so far in 2007 to test the performance of a new RS-24 missile with multiple warheads, extend the service life of RS-18 and RS-25 missiles and lift payloads into orbit.

He also said five regiments of an SMF division in the Saratov Region have been equipped with silo-based Topol-M (SS-27) systems and put on combat duty. A complete regiment of silo-based Topol-M comprises ten missiles.

The advanced Topol-M missile is considered by many experts as the best ICBM in the world at present.

"Therefore, Russia already possesses weapons that can penetrate any modern missile defenses," Solovtsov said.

The deployment of silo-based Topol-M systems in the Saratov Region and road-mobile systems in the Ivanovo Region (central Russia) would be completed in 2010.

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