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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Russia Developing New ICBM, Official Asserts

Russia could complete work on a new ICBM as soon as 2017, the London Telegraph on Friday quoted the head of Russian defense firm as saying (see GSN, Dec. 21, 2010).

Work on the weapon began in 2009, according to Artur Usenkov, head of the Russian defense manufacturer Rosobshemash. The system would be capable of penetrating any foreign missile defense shield, he told ITAR-Tass.

"This applies in the fullest sense to the USA's antimissile defense system and to NATO's (planned) European missile defense system," Usenkov said (see GSN, Jan. 12).

The new ICBM would succeed the SS-18 Satan missile, a holdover from the Cold War. The SS-18 ICBM is capable of delivering 10 nuclear warheads. A single one of the weapons can unleash 500 times as much force as the 1945 atomic strikes on Japan, the head of the Russian strategic missile forces said recently.

It would take a direct nuclear strike to destroy one of Russia's SS-18 launch silos, which are believed to number between 59 and 88, according to the Telegraph.

Moscow intends to spend roughly $672 billion over the next 10 years to modernize Russia's military, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said (Andrew Osborn, London Telegraph, Jan. 14).

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ICBM Russian Missiles Launch

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