New Russian missiles will easily be able to penetrate any prospective missile shield and will remain unrivalled for the next 15-20 years, the head of Russia’s top missile design institute has said.
Yuri Solomonov, the head of the Heat Technology Institute, the top Russian missile-design center, quoted by AP, said the Topol-M and Bulava ballistic missiles would form the core of the nation’s nuclear forces until 2040 and allow Russia to maintain nuclear parity with the U.S..
Each Bulava missile is equipped with six nuclear warheads, and Solomonov said Russia would easily be able to maintain at least 2,000 nuclear warheads by 2011. “By 2011, 2016 and even more so by 2020 the number of warheads will be no fewer than 2,000,” he said.
“The Russian people can sleep calmly through 2040,” Solomonov said when asked to comment on allegations that a slow pace of replacement of Russia’s Soviet-built nuclear arsenals with new strategic weapons systems was eroding the nation’s nuclear deterrent capability.
He said Russia would soon unveil specific plans to adapt the Bulava missile being developed for Russian nuclear submarines for use with land-based strategic missile forces as well.