VLASIKHA (Moscow Region), October 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will launch five intercontinental ballistic missiles by the end of 2009, the SMF commander said Monday.
"The Strategic Missile Forces plan to conduct five missile launches by the end of the year," Lt. Gen. Andrei Shvaichenko told reporters.
He said new missile systems (Topol-M SS-27 Sickle and RS-24 ICBMs) would account for not less than 80% of the SMF's arsenal by late 2016.
The general also confirmed that Russia would put the first regiment of new-generation multiple-warhead RS-24 ICBMs into service in December.
The RS-24 ICBM, set to replace the older SS-18 and SS-19 missiles by 2050, is expected to boost the SMF's capability.
The SMF reportedly has a total of 538 ICBMs, including 306 SS-25 Sickle (Topol) missiles, 88 SS-18 Satan (Voyevoda) and 56 SS-27 Stalin (Topol-M) missiles.