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. Russia orders 70 strategic nuclear missiles by 2011: report
MOSCOW, Dec 23 (AFP) Dec 23, 2008
The Russian military will commission more than 70 strategic nuclear missiles in the next three years, Interfax news agency quoted the deputy head of the military-industrial committee as saying Monday.

"More than 70 strategic missiles will be bought and delivered to troops in the next three years, more than 30 short-range Iskander missiles and a large number of booster rockets and aircraft," said Vladislav Putilin, whose department is in charge of weapons industries.

He added that the military will also acquire 48 combat jets, six spy drones, more than 60 military helicopters, 14 navy vessels and nearly 300 tanks.

The arms-procurement order for 2009-2011 will cost nearly four trillion rubles (100 billion euros, 140 billion dollars), he said.

The announcement comes after last week's announcement that Russia's weapons arsenal is set to be bolstered by the arrival of new missiles with a range of 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) on December 24.

Russia's military is seeking to phase in newer weapons to replace Soviet-era war horses like the Stiletto and shake up the country's armed forces to make them more dynamic.

Meanwhile last week a Russian general said Moscow is ready to abandon plans for a wholesale renewal of its nuclear missile arsenal if the United States stops deployment of a controversial missile shield.

Moscow describes US plans -- spearheaded by outgoing US President George W. Bush -- to deploy an anti-missile radar facility in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland as a threat to its national security.

However the United States insists its missile shield is not directed against Russia and is instead meant to protect against "rogue states" like Iran.

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