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Russia's Strategic Missile Forces conduct large-scale drills

© RIA Novosti . Mikhail Fomichev / Go to the photo bankTopol-M missile
Topol-M missile - Sputnik International
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More than 2,000 servicemen from Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) are taking part in large-scale command-and-staff exercises that started on Wednesday, a military spokesman said.

More than 2,000 servicemen from Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) are taking part in large-scale command-and-staff exercises that started on Wednesday, a military spokesman said.

"The SMF are conducting command-and-staff drills on March 10-12 in line with the annual training program," Col. Vadim Koval said.

According to the official, the SMF will practice operations control in scenarios involving conventional and nuclear warfare under guidelines outlined by Russia's new military doctrine.

"A total of more than 2,000 servicemen and 150 theater- and tactical-level command-and-control centers take part in the drills," Koval said.

Russia plans to complete the modernization of the SMF's command-and-control systems by 2016 in order to improve their ability to overcome missile defenses and increase the survivability of delivery vehicles.

The SMF conducted a total of 11 large-scale exercises and two test launches of strategic missiles in 2009.

The Strategic Missile Forces reportedly have a total of 538 ICBMs, including 306 SS-25 Sickle missiles, 88 SS-18 Satan and 56 SS-27 Topol-M missiles.

MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti)

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