Russia Plans Nuclear-Weapon Improvements
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed today his intention to boost the nation's armed forces and nuclear deterrent, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Feb. 26).
"From 2011, a large-scale rearmament of the army and navy will begin," he told military leaders in Moscow. "The primary task is to increase the combat readiness of our forces, first of all our strategic nuclear forces" (Agence France-Presse/Spacewar.com, March 17).
Meanwhile, the latest test failure of a new Russian submarine-launched ballistic missile has been blamed on a faulty part that prevented the proper separation of the missile's rocket stages, RIA Novosti reported yesterday (see GSN, Dec. 23, 2008).
The Bulava missile launch in December was the fifth failure in 10 test launches, and no fewer than five more tests are planned for this year, according to RIA Novosti (see GSN, Feb. 13).
"The cause of the latest failure during the launch of the Bulava missile was purely technical," said a Defense Ministry source. "One of the subcontractors supplied faulty ejection cartridges which were used in the separation of the missile's stages" (RIA Novosti, March 16).