Ukraine destroys Soviet-era missiles

May 21, 2013 at 3:37 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, May 21 (UPI) -- A rocket engine airframe disposal facility was opened in Ukraine Tuesday to destroy RS-22 (SS-24) missile components under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The newly opened facility is in Dnipropetrovsk.

RS-22 missiles were developed in the 1980s by the then Soviet Union. The nuclear missiles had a range of more than 6,200 miles

"Over three years ago, the U.S. had agreed to contribute to the destruction of Ukraine's intercontinental ballistic missiles and its components," Ukraine said in a news release. "Currently, [the] USA's contribution to the project approaches $20 million -- 90 percent of the total project cost."

It said the funding helped create an industrial research center at a Ukrainian chemical plant for the environmentally safe melting of missile airframes and disposal of solid fuel. The facility also destroys landmines.

Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, which was dissolved in 1991.

In addition to destroying leftover missiles, it is disposing of 133,000 tons of obsolete ammunition under the NATO-Partnership Trust Fund project.

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