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Putin: Russia working on new nuclear systems

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Putin: Russia working on new nuclear systems

Postby brother » Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:28 pm

Putin: Russia working on new nuclear systems

MOSCOW - The Associated Press

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia is developing a new form of nuclear missile unlike those held by other countries, news agencies reported.

Russia "is not only conducting research and successfully testing new nuclear-missile systems. I am sure that ... they will be put in service within the next few years and, what is more, they will be developments of the kind that other nuclear powers do not and will not have," Putin was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency.

Meeting the leadership of Russia's Armed Forces, Putin reportedly said: "International terrorism is one of the major threats for Russia. We understand as soon as we ignore such components of our defense as a nuclear and missile shield, other threats may occur."

"We'll continue our efforts to build our armed forces and its nuclear component," Putin said, according to ITAR-Tass.

No details were immediately available, but Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said earlier this month that Russia expected to test-fire a mobile version of its Topol-M ballistic missile this year and that production of the new weapon could be commissioned in 2005.

News reports have also said Russia is believed to be developing a next-generation heavy nuclear missile that could carry up to 10 nuclear warheads weighing a total 4 metric tons (4.4 tons), compared with the Topol-M's 1.2-ton (1.32-ton) combat payload.

Topol-Ms have been deployed in silos since 1998. The missiles have a range of about 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) and reportedly can maneuver in ways that are difficult to detect.

Earlier this year, a senior Defense Ministry official was quoted as telling news agencies that Russia had developed a weapon that could make the United States' proposed missile-defense system useless. Details were not given, but military analysts said the claimed new weapon could be a hypersonic cruise missile or have maneuverable ballistic missile warheads.

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