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Russia Reportedly Approves Production of New Liquid-Fueled ICBM

The Russian Defense Ministry has given the go-ahead to plans to begin manufacturing a new liquid-fueled ICBM before 2012 is over, according to a Monday article by the Vzglyad newspaper.

The next-generation 100-ton strategic missile is reportedly to be more capable than the Voyevoda, with the ability to carry as many as 10 heavy atomic warheads or 15 medium bombs at a range greater than 6,200 miles.

"At the beginning of October, the Defense Ministry approved the draft project of the new missile as a whole and designers were ordered to improve some things," said former Col. Gen. Victor Yesin, who is presently serving as a consultant to the head of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces. "Production of the missile will begin by the end of the year."

The ex-general would not disclose what particular problems the Russian military found in the draft designs of the new missile.

Separately, Strategic Missile Forces spokesman Col. Vadim Koval revealed to Interfax on Friday that the designing and creation of a new missile that would be transported via railcars has begun. Final approval of the missile has yet to come, he said.

Elsewhere, a liquid-propellant R-29R submarine-launched ballistic missile was successfully test-fired by the Svyatoi Georgy Pobedonosets submarine on Friday, according to a different Interfax report.

"The missile was launched from a submerged position to the Chizha military testing ground in Arkhangelsk region," a Russian navy spokesman said. "The warhead reached the military ground at the set time."

The SLBM traveled more than 3,700 miles before exactly striking its appointed destination, Agence France-Presse reported, citing official information.

At the same time, the Strategic Missile Forces and Aerospace Defense Forces carried out a successful test launch of a Topol ICBM.
The Defense Ministry also announced a successful of test-launch on northern Komy Peninsula of two nuclear-capable cruise missiles by Tu-95 and Tu-1160 bomber aircraft.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin announced that President Vladimir Putin personally oversaw what it described as the biggest command-and-control drill in recent years of Russia's strategic forces, the New York Times reported.
Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov in a short release said the nuclear command drill involving test-firings of ballistic and cruise missiles equipped with dummy warheads from all three legs of the Russian nuclear triad occurred "under Putin's personal control."
"The supreme commander in chief made a high assessment" of the execution of Russian nuclear forces personnel," Peskov said to Russian news agencies. "It was the first time in recent history of Russia that the strategic nuclear forces have held a command exercise on such a scale."

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