"We plan to put the first regiment of mobile [RS-24] missile systems equipped with multiple re-entry vehicle warheads into service by the end of this year," Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said.
The RS-24 ICBM, which will replace the older SS-18 and SS-19 missiles by 2050, is expected to greatly strengthen the SMF's strike capability, as well as that of its allies until the mid-21st century, Solovtsov said.
The missile will be deployed both in silos and on mobile platforms, and together with the Topol-M single-warhead ICBM will constitute the core of Russia's SMF in the future, he added.
He also said the SMF would conduct at least 14 missile test launches, including space launches, in 2009.
"We are planning 14 launches for various purposes, including the testing of missile components and warheads, the extension of missiles' service life, and space launches," Solovtsov said.
The SMF reportedly has a total of 538 ICBMs, including 306 SS-25 Sickle (Topol) missiles, 88 SS-18 Satan (Voyevoda) and 56 SS-27 Stalin (Topol-M) missiles.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).