Russia to develop advanced missile systems by 2016: commander 2009-12-09 03:50:25   Print

    MOSCOW, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Russia will complete the development of advanced missile systems by 2016, the commander of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) said on Tuesday.

    "The future missile group will consist of two components -- standby stationary missile systems with a high level of combat readiness and long-endurance missile systems," Commander Andrei Shvaichenko said at a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the SMF.

    Shvaichenko said the SMF would commission advanced missile systems while keeping the existing systems operational until their extended service life expires.

    "By the end of 2016, the missile systems with extended service life will account for no more than 20 percent of the total, while the share of new missile systems will be about 80 percent," Shvaichenko said.

    Silo-based missiles constitute 45 percent of Russia's total ballistic missile arsenal, but they carry about 85 percent of nuclear warheads deployed by the SMF, he said.

    The commander said the number of missile systems and warheads in service in the future would depend on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty with the United States.

    Russia and the United States are concluding talks on a replacement for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1), which expired last week. The new accord could significantly reduce the number of nuclear weapons possessed by both sides.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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