Russia outlines missile defense plans

Dec. 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM   |   0 comments

MOSCOW, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Russian First Deputy Defense Minister Arkady Bakhin said sending the Iskander-M missile system to the Caucasus region was the start of major installations.

Bakhin announced Tuesday the first installation of the tactical missile system was delivered to Russia's Southern Military District.

"Next year two more missile brigades will be armed with the tactical missile systems Iskander-M," he was quoted by ITAR-Tass as saying.

The Russian military last year set aside $750 million to produce the Iskander mobile tactical ballistic missile system. The Kremlin said it would roll out the system to counter any U.S. plans for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.

Russian Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakaev was quoted by state news agency RIA Novosti as saying the military would deploy its latest series of heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles no later than 2020.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation address said no rival power "should have illusions" over a military advantage in Russia's regional sphere of influence.

The U.S. military says a missile system planned for Eastern Europe is needed to ensure the region is protected from any threats emanating from Iran or North Korea. The Kremlin has demanded assurances the system would not target its national interests or upset the regional balance of power.

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