24 December 2009
Russia to keep developing nuclear missiles: Medvedev
By Staff Writers
http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Russia_to_keep_developing_nuclear_missiles _Medvedev_999.html

Russia successfully tests long-range missile: ministry
Moscow (AFP) Dec 24, 2009 - Russia on Thursday successfully test launched a nuclear-capable missile that struck its target across the country in the Russian Far East, Russian news agencies said, citing the defence ministry. "Pre-launch operations, the launch and flight went strictly according to plan," a spokesman for Russia's Strategic Missile Forces, Colonel Vadim Konval, was quoted by Interfax as saying. "The test hit the intended target area on the Kamchatka peninsula with astounding accuracy," he said. The RS-20V Voevoda intercontinental ballistic missile -- known by the NATO codename Satan -- launched at around 0630 GMT from Orenburg in the south Urals and hit its hypothetical target on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the spokesman said. The test firing aimed to check the missile's flight and technical characteristics to extend the service life of the Voevoda-type systems up to 23 years, he told ITAR-TASS. The land-based RS-20V missiles, developed in 1988, can be equipped with 10 individually targeted nuclear warheads and has a maximum 11,000 kilometres (6,840 miles) range. Earlier this month, the latest test launch of Russia's new nuclear-capable Bulava missile failed over the White Sea, resulting in a mysterious plume of light that appeared in the sky over Norway on December 10. The Bulava missile is central to Russia's plan to revamp its ageing weapons arsenal, but has been dogged by persistent technical problems.

Moscow (AFP) -
President Dmitry Medvedev voiced hope Thursday that Moscow and Washington would reach an agreement on a new nuclear treaty but said Russia would continue developing nuclear missiles to defend itself.

Russia and the United States have missed a series of deadlines to agree a new text setting out major cuts in their nuclear arsenals, after a previous agreement expired on December 5.

Asked about the delays in a live year-end televised interview, Medvedev admitted the negotiations were "difficult" but insisted: "We need to create a quality document. I am sure that we will create it."

"It is not a contract between two cooperatives that can be drawn up in 15 minutes," Medvedev said. "We already are moving fast as it is, we've agreed on practically everything over there."

But Medvedev stressed that Russia would continue to develop a new generation of nuclear missiles.

"Despite the fact that we will prepare and sign this treaty, we will still be pursuing the development of our strategic offensive forces because it is not possible to defend our country without them."

"We will of course be pursuing the development of new systems, including delivery systems, that is missiles."

Newsweek's Russian edition said this week, citing unnamed Russian diplomats, that the US-Russian agreement might be ditched altogether.

The chief of Russian armed forces' general staff, Nikolai Makarov said this week that "some serious difficulties" remained in the talks, but that the deal would likely be inked in January.

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