Putin touts 40 ICBMs to boost na­tion’s ar­se­nal

Los Angeles Times - - THE WORLD -

Rus­sia’s mil­i­tary this year will re­ceive more than 40 new in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles ca­pa­ble of pierc­ing any mis­sile de­fenses, Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin said in a blunt re­minder of the na­tion’s nu­clear might amid ten­sion with the West over Ukraine.

Putin made the state­ment at the open­ing of an arms show at a shoot­ing range just west of Moscow, a huge dis­play in­tended to show­case the na­tion’s resur­gent mil­i­tary might.

Putin vowed to con­tinue a big arms mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram de­spite the na­tion’s eco­nomic down­turn. He also noted that the mil­i­tary was to start test­ing its new lon­grange early warn­ing radar, in­tended to mon­i­tor the west, and later will de­ploy another one in the east.

“More than 40 new in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles ca­pa­ble of pen­e­trat­ing any, even the most tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced, mis­sile de­fense sys­tems will join the nu­clear forces in the cur­rent year,” he said. In De­cem­ber, Putin said that the mil­i­tary would com­mis­sion more than 50 ICBMs in 2015. The rea­son for re­vis­ing the plan wasn’t im­me­di­ately clear.

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