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. Russia building missiles to counter US space defences: military

With the RS-24 entering service, the structure of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces in the coming decade looks clear. Along with the Topol-M, the new missile will form the backbone of the Strategic Missile Forces, their numbers totaling up to 250 and 60, respectively, by the end of the next decade.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Dec 1, 2008
Russia is developing missiles designed to avoid being hit by space-based missile defence systems that could be deployed by the United States, a top Russian general was quoted as saying Monday.

"Development is now under way on the combat outfitting of missiles whose flight falls outside the range of space-based missile defence systems," Nikolai Solovtsov, the commander of Russia's missile forces, told Interfax news agency.

Solovtsov called the project a countermeasure to what he described as US plans to deploy weapons in space, according to Interfax.

"Judging by an analysis of US work in new weapons development and creation, they truly see space as a potential sphere for armed conflict and in connection with this are not withdrawing from plans to place weapons in space," he said.

He also said Russia was "perfecting the structure and makeup" of its missile forces in response to a planned US land-based missile shield, a controversial project that has provoked furious reactions from Moscow.

Solvtsov said the steps would include deployment of RS-24 intercontinental missiles, designed to overcome systems such as the US missile shield.

In recent months Moscow has sharply criticised Washington's plans to put an anti-missile radar facility in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, despite US assurances that the system is not directed against Russia.

Russia has also reacted warily to US moves that it has seen as contributing to the militarisation of outer space under the hawkish administration of President George W. Bush.

In February, when the US military was planning to shoot down a rogue US spy satellite, Russia's defence ministry said the plans looked like a veiled weapons test and an "attempt to move the arms race into space."

That month Russia and China proposed a new treaty banning the use of weapons in space, but the idea was rejected by the White House.

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SKorea receives first Patriot missiles: air force
Seoul (AFP) Nov 28, 2008
The South Korean air force said Friday it had taken delivery of a first shipment of US-made Patriot missiles, designed to protect against any attack by North Korea.

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