Russia to continue developing defence capability – Putin

By RIA Novosti

Moscow : President Vladimir Putin said Thursday Russia will continue to develop both nuclear and conventional components of its armed forces.

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“We will not only focus on all components of the nuclear triad, meaning the strategic missile forces, strategic aviation and nuclear submarines, but also on other kinds of weapons,” Putin said in his annual question and answer session live on TV.

“A weapons development programme has been approved for development of all armed services and branches by 2015,” Putin said.

Russia already deployed 36 types of modern weaponry with the armed forces in the first half of 2007.

These weapon systems include the submarine-launched R-29RM Sineva ballistic missiles, the S-400 Triumf air defence complex, and the 120-mm Nona SM-1 towed mortar for ground forces.

Putin said Russia had been successfully developing new-generation ballistic missile systems while modernizing the existing missile complexes.

“We will continue developing missile technologies, including new-generation ballistic missiles,” the president said. “We will also prioritise the development of high-precision weaponry.”

Russia has recently conducted test launches of the Yarts land-based ballistic missile, the Bulava sea-launched ballistic missile, the X-102 airborne missile and a new version of the Iskander-M ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads.

On Thursday, Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces announced a successful test launch of an RS-12 Topol ICBM (NATO reporting name SS-25 Sickle).

Topol missile systems have been in service since 1988 and their service life has been extended to 21 years.