TATISHCHEVO (Russia), February 22 (RIA Novosti)
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The share of new weaponry in the arsenal of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) will reach 97% by 2020, SMF Commander Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said.
The current share is about 30%, which includes Topol-M and RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
“We hope that this share will increase to 60 percent by 2016 and reach 97 percent by 2020,” Karakayev said on Tuesday during a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
At present, three strategic missile divisions are being rearmed with new missiles, two of them will have this process completed in 2012, the general said.
The Tatishchevo Missile Division near Saratov in southwestern Russia put a sixth regiment of Topol-M silo-based missile systems on combat duty on Tuesday.
The Topol-M missile, with a range of about 7,000 miles (11,000 km), is said to be immune to any current and planned U.S. anti-ballistic missile defense. It is capable of making evasive maneuvers to avoid a kill using terminal phase interceptors, and carries targeting countermeasures and decoys.
It is also shielded against radiation, electromagnetic pulse, nuclear blasts, and is designed to survive a hit from any form of laser technology.
In 2020, the SMF are likely to be equipped with over 170 Topol-Ms (mobile and silo-based), as well as 30 SS-19 and 108 RS-24 missile defense systems in nine divisions.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.