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Russia Deploys Fifth Topol-M ICBM System

The crew of a Russian nuclear submarine (file photo) (epa) 16 December 2005 -- Russia's Strategic Missile Forces deployed a fifth Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile system this month.

The Topol-M missile is capable of hitting targets more than 10,000 kilometers away. The Russian military intends to make it the core of Russia's modernized missile arsenal, along with a sea-based missile system, the Bulava, which is still being tested.

In addition to acquiring new Topol-M missiles, Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces are struggling to extend the service life of Soviet-built missiles.

Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of the Strategic Missile Forces, said on 16 December that Russia would deploy its first mobile Topol-M system next year, in the Ivanovo region in central Russia. In all, three mobile systems are to be deployed in 2006.