Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow has dozens of heavy strategic missiles which have not been put on combat duty, Interfax reported.
A large reserve of formidable, land-based strategic missiles are still stored in warehouses, Putin told a high-level conference of senior military officials here, touting the unmatched capabilities of the long-lived missiles to defeat any missile defense systems.
The UR-100NUTTKH strategic missiles, which Putin mentioned, "are some of the most powerful, heavy missiles capable of carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads and defeating sophisticated missile defense systems," said Col. Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, first deputy commander with the Russian General Staff.
He said the UR-100NUTTKH, a sound reserve inherited from the former Soviet Union and preserved until today, might be kept for combat use until the mid-2030s.
"They will be able to fulfill the tasks facing the Strategic Missile Troops until the mid-2030s," Baluyevsky said.
"Nuclear deterrent forces are now playing an important role, and will continue to do so for a long time," Putin said at the conference.
Although Russia and the United States promised to reduce their deployed nuclear arsenals by about two-thirds over a decade under the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), Putin noted that the document also allows the signatories to keep significant reserves of such missiles.
"Russia is going to make the most of this treaty's provisions,"the president added.
Putin admitted that Russia's military structure was not yet optimal. "Our steps should be driven by the country's interests and the capabilities of the economy, rather than the interests of certain agencies," he said.
"We have enough time to develop new 21st century weapons systematically, step by step," he said, adding that Russia had already made "a number of breakthroughs" in this regard and would do everything to keep such development on schedule.