Russian Strategic Missile Forces Commander Col. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said Friday the military was considering a non-nuclear missile that would have a 100-ton payload capacity.
"The availability of a powerful liquid-fueled ICBM allows us the capability of creating a strategic high-accuracy weapons system with a conventional payload with practically global range, if the U.S. does not pull back from its program for creating such missile systems," he was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.
The U.S. and Russian governments have agreed on measures to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in their respective arsenals.
Missile defense issues have been a source of contention for the countries. Washington said it needs a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe to protect against rogue regimes such as Iran and North Korea. The Kremlin, however, said it wants security assurances from the United States, adding any defense system would upset the regional balance of power.
Karakayev said he couldn't discuss formal development plans "for obvious reasons," though the state news agency reports some aspects of Russia's new missile system could be in place by 2014.
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