June 01, 2007

New Russian missile to be deployed soon

20:50 | 31/ 05/ 2007



TOMSK/WASHINGTON, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - A first Russian deputy prime minister vowed Thursday to have the new Iskander theater-level missile deployed "very soon," saying it is as important for strategic stability as the recently-tested RS-24 ICBM.

"To maintain strategic stability, Russia needs this weapon as well as modern strategic weapons," Sergei Ivanov said, following the successful tests of both new missiles on Tuesday, adding that the Iskander system with the new R-500 cruise missile will be deployed in the nearest future.

"This cruise missile is entirely new, and very precise. It can be used to project pinpoint - I would even say surgical - combat capability to great distances," said Ivanov, a former defense minister.

In response to Russia's missile tests, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said: "they don't need a new missile system to overcome any future missile defense system we're planning. It's not designed to prevent the Soviet Union or do anything to change their strategic capabilities."

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