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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia may deploy new-generation ballistic missiles by 2017

RIA Novosti

14/12/2007 16:39 MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) may adopt a new ballistic missile system in the next decade, an SMF spokesman said Friday.

At present, Russia deploys Topol-M (NATO reporting name SS-27) ballistic missiles as the mainstay of its land-based component of the nuclear triad. As of December 2006, Russia's SMF operated 44 silo-based and three mobile Topol-M missile systems.

"In the next five-ten years Russia's SMF may adopt a new, more advanced [than the Topol-M] ballistic missile system," Alexander Vovk said.

Russia's Defense Ministry earlier said several dozen silo launchers and over 50 Topol-M mobile missile systems would be put on combat duty before 2015.

"The Topol-M missile complexes have been developed to counter U.S. missile shield plans in Europe," the official said, citing SMF Commander Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsev. "However, if Russia faces an unfavorable global situation in the future, we may decide to develop new [ballistic] missile systems."

The first Topol-M mobile missile battalion entered duty with a missile unit stationed near the town of Teikovo, about 150 miles northeast of Moscow, on December 12, 2006.

Solovtsov said earlier a second missile battalion, equipped with Topol-M mobile ICBMs, would be put on combat duty before the end of 2007 and 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.

He also said Russia would equip the Topol-M missile systems with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles in the next two or three years.

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