Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



The Future Of Russian Missile Forces

Col. Gen. Solovtsov said that this year, two regiments of Topol RS-12M (pictured) ground-based missile systems in the Kannskaya missile division, which has 16 launchers for SS-25 Sickle missiles, will be trimmed down, along with a missile regiment in the Kozelskaya division, stationed in the Kaluga Region. There are six regiments of UR-100 NUTTKh silo-based missile systems on combat duty, with 60 SS-19 Stiletto missile launchers capable of carrying six independently targetable nuclear warheads, each with a 750 kiloton yield. One regiment consisting of 10 missiles will be disbanded by the end of the year.
by Viktor Litovkin
RIA Novosti Commentator
Moscow (RIA Novosti) March 12, 2007
The recent news conference given by three-star Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, the commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, did not cause a sensation. Specialists and experts on the Missile Forces heard only one piece of new information from the general.

This was the news that the command of the RSMF will, of course, react if Russia decides to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty in reaction to U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Poland and radars in the Czech Republic. It is as ready to assume command of the medium range missiles now as it was before the INF treaty came into force, and there is a possibility that the missiles will be aimed at U.S. targets in Eastern Europe.

"At present nothing is deployed there", Solovtsov said. "But if Poland and the Czech Republic decide to change that, the Russian Strategic Missile Force will be able to consider these objects as targets."

Asked by RIA Novosti about the Russian defense industry's ability to produce such missiles in sufficient number, the general said: "After the elimination of medium-range missiles, the designs and technology remained. It will not be difficult to resume production, but it will be with new technology, a new element base, and new guidance systems."

These statements can hardly be called a sensation after the recent statements about Russia's possible withdrawal from the INF Treaty made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, four-star Army Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, chief of the Russian General Staff, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. But one thing was hard to ignore amid all the talk about American missiles and radars.

Col. Gen. Solovtsov said that this year, two regiments of Topol RS-12M ground-based missile systems in the Kannskaya missile division, which has 16 launchers for SS-25 Sickle missiles, will be trimmed down, along with a missile regiment in the Kozelskaya division, stationed in the Kaluga Region. There are six regiments of UR-100 NUTTKh silo-based missile systems on combat duty, with 60 SS-19 Stiletto missile launchers capable of carrying six independently targetable nuclear warheads, each with a 750 kiloton yield. One regiment consisting of 10 missiles will be disbanded by the end of the year.

Will the planned reduction in the number of these missiles, as well as further reductions in other strategic missile systems, impair Russia's security? The commander of the RSMF answered unequivocally: "No."

These reductions are part of Russia's obligations under the START-1 and SORT treaties. Under the latter, Moscow and Washington will reduce their respective number of nuclear warheads on existing missile systems to 1,700-2,200 by Dec. 31, 2012.

"And this will be accomplished," Col. Gen. Solovtsov said.

"Our missiles have many more warheads than that," he added. He did not specify the number, but according to publicly available sources, at the end of 2006 Russia had 762 strategic systems capable of carrying 3,373 nuclear warheads. The RSMF alone has 503 strategic systems and 1,853 warheads.

Russia's former defense minister, Sergei Ivanov, said at the State Duma, the main chamber of the Russian parliament, on Feb. 7 that the Russian Army will get 17 new strategic missile systems this year. As Col. Gen. Solovtsov said at his news conference, the first division, armed with the ground-based Topol-M missile system consisting of three launch vehicles and one control vehicle, will be enlarged to a regiment with three more launchers. It is therefore clear that the rest of the missile systems will be both silo- and, probably, ground-based, but they will consist only of Topol-M missiles.

Solovtsov added that by 2016-2018, Topol-M missile systems, both in silos and ground-based, will constitute the backbone of the RSMF. Ivanov said that by 2015, 34 more silo-based missile systems -- at present there are 42 -- and 66 ground-based systems will be supplied to the Armed Forces, bringing the total number of Topol-M missiles systems to nearly 150.

Today, both ground- and silo-based Topol-M missile systems have only one warhead. After 2009, when the START-1 treaty's restrictions on the deployment of ground-based missile systems with MIRVed warheads are lifted, there is a possibility that the new Topol missiles will carry those multiple warheads. Otherwise, Russia won't be able to fulfill its obligations under the SORT treaty.

Though Gen. Solovtsov's news conference caused no sensation, a careful analysis shows that it unveils the prospects for the development of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces. Russia will have fewer missiles than today, but its missiles will be of a higher quality, capable of penetrating both existing and future missile defense systems.

(Viktor Litovkin is a military correspondent for the RIA Novosti news agency. This article is reprinted by permission of RIA Novosti. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not necessarily represent the opinions of the RIA Novosti editorial board.)

Source: RIA Novosti

Email This Article

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com

Missing Iranian General Was Western Spy Says Latest Report
London (AFP) March 11, 2007
A former Iranian deputy defence minister who disappeared from Turkey last month had been spying on Iran for Western intelligence since 2003, a newspaper reported Sunday, citing Iranian sources. The Sunday Times said Ali Reza Asghari, who once commanded the Revolutionary Guards, was recruited by a foreign intelligence officer during an overseas business trip around four years ago.







  • India Developing News Alliances
  • Growing US Military Concerns For China
  • EU Bickers Over Birthday Card Message
  • The Two Faces Of NATO

  • Missing Iranian General Was Western Spy Says Latest Report
  • The Future Of Russian Missile Forces
  • Iran Shrugs Off Threat Of More UN Sanctions
  • Silver Linings In War Clouds

  • Raytheon To Enhance Patriot Global Capabilities Under Pure Fleet Contract
  • Excalibur Completes Final Testing Clearing Path For Early Fielding
  • New Hellfire-Compatible Guided Rocket Can Defeat Targets In Urban Operations
  • LockMart Unveils New Four-Mode Guidance Ground Launched Precision Strike Missile

  • US Missile Defenses Performed Well In North Korea Crisis Claims Boeing
  • Dialogue Of The Deaf Over ABM Plans
  • US Missile Shield A Threat To Europe Unity Claims Chirac
  • USAF Japan Base Gets New BMD Infomation System

  • Raytheon Team Proposes Single International Standard In ADS-B Pursuit
  • NASA Signs Defense Department Agreement
  • Lockheed Martin And FAA Reach Significant Milestone In Transformation Of Flight Services
  • Can UABC Take Russian Aircraft-Makers Out Of Spin

  • Israeli Air Force Unveils Long-Range Drone
  • New Technology Expands Air Force Combat Capability
  • Phase 2 Testing Completed For Centralized Controller For Unmanned Air And Ground Systems
  • Killerbee UAV Flies At Camp Pendleton

  • Does The Surge Needs Sadr
  • The Iraq Economic War
  • Washington Dodgers
  • The Battle For Haditha

  • South Korea Unveils Underwater Tank
  • Rest Of Media Catches Up To UPI's Reports On Veteran Health Services
  • F-35 Production A Step Closer After Wind Tunnel Test
  • Tests To Reveal Levels Of Depleted Uranium In Army Personnel

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement