A ranking Russian military official on Monday said his country would construct a next-generation ICBM within roughly six years, RIA Novosti reported.
“Construction of the missile is ongoing,” Russian strategic missile forces head Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev stated. “It is to be completed by 2018.”
The weapon is to eventually stand in for Russia's R-36M Voyevoda missile. The nation previously indicated a successor weapon would rely on liquid fuel -- a first for any of the country's contemporary ICBM projects -- and reside in ground-based launch facilities.
The planned armament would have a 100-ton launch mass, Karakayev added.
Karakayev touted the weapon's planned features for circumventing antimissile measures, Russia Today reported. Development of a liquid-fueled missile is among measures Moscow has vowed to pursue if the United States presses ahead with plans to establish a European missile shield.
"Speaking about combat effectiveness, it is necessary to note the new missiles' ability to be invulnerable before launch thanks to their mobility, as well as their ability to tackle the task of defeating any possible missile defense system within the next 15-20 years, should such a need arise," the officer said.
Meanwhile, two Russian naval branches are each slated to take custody of one Borei-class ballistic missile submarine, a Russian defense insider said on Friday. The new vessels, once equipped with the Bulava ballistic missile, are to constitute the backbone of Russia's submarine-based strategic nuclear deterrent.
“The Alexander Nevsky will enter service with the Pacific Fleet, the main one, the Yuri Dolgoruky, with the North Fleet,” RIA Novosti quoted Anatoly Shlemov, military contracts chief for United Shipbuilding, as saying.
The North Fleet would facilitate maneuvers for personnel assigned to the two vessels, and the Pacific Fleet warship's crew members would then relocate through the Northern Sea Route, according to the news report.
“Usually, this takes a year,” Shlemov said.