MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) will conduct on September 8-11 large-scale command-and-staff exercises involving over 2,000 personnel, an SMF spokesman said on Monday.
"During the exercises, the SMF will practice operations control in scenarios involving conventional and nuclear warfare," the official said.
"A total of over 2,000 servicemen and 150 theater- and tactical-level command-and-control centers will take part in the drills," he said.
The exercise coincides with the start of the Russian-Belarusian large-scale Zapad 2009 exercises, which will be held on September 8-29 and involve around 13,000 service personnel on both sides.
Russia's SMF plans by 2016 to modernize its command-and-control systems in order to improve their ability to overcome missile defenses and increase the survivability of delivery vehicles.
At present, six types of silo-based and mobile ICBM systems are on combat duty with the SMF, including the heavy Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan), capable of carrying 10 warheads, and the Topol-M (Stalin) systems.
According to open sources, the total arsenal of Russia's SMF comprises 538 ICBMs, including 306 SS-25 Topol (Sickle) missiles and 56 SS-27 Topol-M missiles.
Silo-based missiles constitute 45% of the total ballistic missile arsenal. They carry about 85% of nuclear warheads deployed by the SMF.