KAZAN (Tatarstan), May 3 (RIA Novosti) - Replacing outdated strategic submarines should be made a military shipbuilding priority for the next five years, the Navy Commander said Wednesday.
"We are allocating most funds for construction of new submarines," Admiral Vladimir Masorin told a news conference after a meeting with heads of defense industry companies in the Volga region of Tatarstan. "We should be able to replace strategic submarines with new ones in the near future."
He said that the new Bulava ballistic missile had been designed specifically to equip new strategic submarines.
Bulava missiles, a sea-based version of the Topol-M, could be deployed on Borey-class nuclear submarines as early as in 2008, a leading missile designer said earlier.
Last year, Russia conducted two successful test launches of the Bulava. The first in-flight test launch was conducted on September 27, 2005, from the Dmitry Donskoi, a Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine.
On December 21, 2005, another Bulava was launched from the Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea before traveling thousands of miles to hit a dummy target on the Kura test site on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was the first time a Bulava had been launched from a submerged position.
Masorin also said Russia would continue building small- and medium size surface ships, rather than "huge missile cruisers."
"We already have them [the cruisers], and we will keep and modernize them," he said. "But we will continue building ships that are under construction, from small gunboats ... to frigates."