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Russia to revamp Strategic Missile Forces by 2020


Topol-M ICBM. A file photo

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia will revamp its Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) by equipping them with new missiles and weapons by 2020, SMF Commander Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev has said.

While three strategic missile divisions are presently being rearmed with new missiles that include the Topol-M and RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), constituting about 30 percent of the new arsenal, the remaining forces will be armed with new weapons by 2020.

"We hope that this share will increase to 60 percent by 2016 and reach 97 percent by 2020," SMF Chief was quoted as saying by Ria Novosti during a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

On Tuesday, the Tatishchevo Missile Division near Saratov in southwestern Russia put a sixth regiment of Topol-M silo-based missile systems on combat duty, the news report said.

In 2020, the SMF are likely to be equipped with over 170 Topol-Ms (mobile and silo-based), as well as 30 SS-19 and 108 RS-24 missile defence systems in nine divisions, it said.

While the three-stage Topol M is a solid-propellant, silo-based or road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) having a maximum range of 11,000 km, the SS-19 is a silo-based, liquid propellant ICBM with a range of over 9,000 km and can carry up to six warheads.

The RS-24 is a new-generation ICBM equipped with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warhead. It is expected to greatly strengthen the SMFs' strike capability.

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