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Russia to increase military hardware, says official
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08:37, March 06, 2009

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Russia's defense orders for 2009 are worth more than 1.5 trillion rubles (42 billion U.S. dollars), with a quarter of the funds being allocated to support the strategic nuclear forces, a deputy defense minister said on Thursday.

The defense ministry is planning to put into service this year the sea-based Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads and has a range of 8,000km, Gen. Vladimir Popovkin told a news conference.

"We will for the first time buy more than 10 launch systems this year. That is, we are increasing the rearmament rates of our missile forces," he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Popovkin said more high-precision weapons, Iskander missile systems in particular, will be purchased in 2009.

The Russian armed forces will get more tanks, armored vehicles, helicopters and infantry combat vehicles than it did in the past years, he said.

The general also warned that Russia will buy additional Iskander missile systems if the United States deploys its missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.


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