by Staff Writers
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Jul 13, 2010
Russia's Armed Forces will test-launch up to 12 ballistic missiles a year over the next decade, a top military official has said.
"We currently carry out 10-12 ballistic missile launches a year and we will maintain this level in the foreseeable future," Lt. Gen. Alexander Burutin, first deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said after a meeting of the State Duma Defense Committee.
The committee advised earlier in the day the lower house of the Russian parliament to ratify a new strategic arms reduction deal with the U.S.
He said under the new treaty, Russia is to transfer to the United States telemetric data on only five ballistic missile launches a year.
He also said Russia would not destroy a single missile or launcher whose service life was not over yet.
Burutin said in previous years Russia had failed to modernize its strategic nuclear shield.
"Therefore a significant portion [of the nuclear arsenal] is in such condition that sooner or later it will be technologically unable to ensure the guaranteed use of nuclear weapons," he said.
The treaty was signed on April 8 in Prague, replacing the START 1 treaty that expired in December 2009. The document was submitted to the U.S. Senate on May 13 and to the State Duma on May 28. The Russian and U.S. presidents have agreed that the ratification processes should be simultaneous.
The new pact stipulates that the number of nuclear warheads is to be reduced to 1,550 on each side, while the number of deployed and non-deployed delivery vehicles must not exceed 800 on either side.
Source: RIA Novosti
The Russian Federation Ministry of Defence
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