Russian air force gets new cruise missile

March 21, 2012 at 2:58 PM

MOSCOW, March 21 (UPI) -- Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdiukov said the Russian air force's strategic long-range arms division is deploying a new cruise missile.

It is the first such new deployment since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Serdiukov declined to provide details beyond saying the weapon was an air-launched, long-range missile.

The Taktitcheskoe Raketnoe Vooruzhenie defense corporation developed the missile,

Russian air force head Col. Gen. Aleksandr Zelin said.

He said the new missiles would be installed on fifth-generation fighters currently under development.

Western analysts say the new cruise missile is a possible conventionally armed variant of the Soviet-era Kh-55 nuclear-armed cruise missile, which has been in service since the 1984 on Russian Tu-95 and Tu-160 bombers, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Serdiukov also stated that the air force's Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-95MS Bear strategic bombers, built during Soviet times, will be modernized to carry the new ordnance.

The air force's strategic long-range arms division will receive more than 10 modernized Tu-160M Blackjack bombers by 2020, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Vladimir Drik said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Ford recalls 432,000 North American vehicles over software bug
Aetna to acquire Humana for $37 billion in cash, stocks
New Zealand military receives medium heavy military trucks
BBC to lay off 1,000 people to make up for $234M in lost revenue
U.S. proposes tighter pipeline spill rules