Incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday received the briefcase enabling him to order a nuclear strike from any location, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, April 25).
Putin accepted the "nuclear suitcase" shortly after being sworn in for his third term in the Russian presidency. Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov led the device's ritual transfer to the new president from departing leader Dmitry Medvedev.
The head of Russia's armed forces could employ a confidential cipher dubbed "Cheget" to issue deployment authorizations through the system, possibly initiating a nuclear strike. It will remain in the vicinity of Putin on a continuous basis (Agence France-Presse/Channel News Asia, May 7).
Meanwhile, the Borei-class submarine Alexander Nevsky submarine and the Bulava ballistic missile are each slated to enter active duty once the vessel conducts two trial firings of the nuclear-capable weapon in October, an insider with the main staff of the Russian navy told Interfax on Saturday.
"We plan to carry out Bulava's underwater test launches from the Alexander Nevsky at the beginning and the end of October," the source stated. "Based on their results, the sea-based strategic missile system will be officially put into service, and its regular carrier (the submarine) will join the navy."
A senior Russian defense official last month said the submarine would enter service in August (see GSN, April 20; Interfax, May 5).
Incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday received the briefcase enabling him to order a nuclear strike from any location, Agence France-Presse reported.