Russia to test-launch four ICBMs by year-end

RIA Novosti
Wednesday, Sept 10, 2008

Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will test-launch another four missiles by the end of this year, the forces' commander said on Wednesday.

"In accordance with an adjusted missile launch program for 2008, we will carry out four missile launches before the end of the year, including a test-firing of the RS-24 ICBM from the Plesetsk base," Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said.

Three launches have been made so far this year, one in June and two in August.

"All the launches were successful," he said.

He said the Strategic Missile Forces command will ensure the forces' development as the most economical and effective branch of the military.

Solovtsov said in the past few years the forces have been receiving not more than 4% of the country's defense budget (9.89 billion rubles in 2008), while they have two-thirds of Russia's total nuclear warheads.

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