Source Pravda.Ru

Soviet nuclear missiles wil remain on duty, top Russian general promises

Soviet built nuclear missiles remain combat-ready and will keep on forming the core of Russia's strategic forces for another decade and more, head of the Strategic Missile Forces Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said Tuesday.

The Interfax-Military News Agency quoted Solovtsov as saying that the RS-20 missiles, which already had served more than 2 1/2 times longer than their designated lifetime, could remain on duty for another 10-15 years.

The RS-20 intercontinental ballistic missile, known in the West as the SS-18 Satan, is the heaviest missile in Russia's strategic nuclear forces inventory.

"Although more than 80 percent of missile systems have exhausted their designated lifetime, the existing maintenance and operation system of the Strategic Missile Forces allow reliability and technical readiness of missile systems to remain on the necessary level," Solovtsov was quoted as saying.

Solovtsov also said that the nuclear missiles of another type, the RS-18, which have been on duty since 1980, will be gradually replaced by missiles of similar manufacture that had been stored without fuel. Those missiles will serve through 2020s, he was quoted as saying.

Following the Soviet collapse, the Russian military was hit with perennial funding problems and it has struggled to extend the lifetime of Soviet-built missiles, since the government lacks money to replace them with new weapons.

In recent years, the Strategic Missile Forces have acquired just a handful of new Topol-M missiles _ a rate many experts consider insufficient to replace the aging missile arsenals.

Solovtsov said Tuesday that another batch of Topol-Ms will enter service later this year, and he shrugged off comments about the slow rate of deployment, the AP reports.

"Russia doesn't need to compete with anyone in building up numbers of missiles and their nuclear warheads," he was quoted as saying. "We have a sufficient nuclear potential to protect ourselves and our allies."

Comments
Eighteen tons of gold leave USA in 2018
What do foreign fans say about Russia during 2018 FIFA World Cup?
Trump-Kim honeymoon in Singapore may open McDonald's in Pyongyang
Euro-Islam: New religion to break migrants in EU
Euro-Islam: New religion to break migrants in EU
Mysteries of history: Greek fire, Damascus steel and beam weapon
Mysteries of history: Greek fire, Damascus steel and beam weapon
Careful with Iceland!!
Taxi cab rams into pedestrians in Moscow
Experts name reasons that led to the crash of the An-148 near Moscow
"Lend a Hand" - Kit to promote the inclusion of migrant and refugee children in schools
Austria shows its 'ugly face' to Islam?
The West persistently pesters former USSR with regime changes and revolutions
Trump officially starts trade war with China
Bombing of Yugoslavia killed Russia's relations with the West
Putin's interview for Austrian television: Tough answers to most provocative questions
The West persistently pesters former USSR with regime changes and revolutions
Most Russians treat Day of Russia as unimportant holiday
Yemen: 200,000 cholera cases
Russian banks to suffer from major problems during upcoming 5 years
The West persistently pesters former USSR with regime changes and revolutions