MOSCOW, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Russia is to put into service 15 more inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) by the end of this year, the commander of the strategic missile forces (RVSN) said Tuesday.
"Currently the Yars mobile missile systems are being attached to the divisions in Novosibirsk and Tomsk," Colonel General Sergei Karakayev told reporters on the RVSN Day in Russia.
According to Karakayev, 15 fifth-generation Yars ICBMs will be put into service in these two locations by the end of 2013.
In 2014, two more divisions will also be armed with Yars and 16 launches of the ICBMs will be conducted with various training, testing and commercial tasks, he said.
According to the commander, the RVSN will be fully re-equipped with the most advanced Sarmat systems by 2018-2020. They will gradually replace the RS-20 Voyevoda ground-based missiles (or Satan in NATO classification), which have been on active duty since late 1980s.
Karakayev said Russia needed at least 1,500 nuclear warheads for strategic containment.
Russia, which now has about 400 ICBM launchers, plans to spend more than 46 billion rubles (1.4 billion U.S. dollars) on nuclear weapons building and maintenance during 2014-2016.