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Russia to test-launch four more missiles in 2008

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia is set to test launch four missiles including an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile before the end of the year.

RIA Novosti quoted Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov as saying that Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will test-launch another four missiles by the end of 2008. Solovtsov said, “In accordance with an adjusted missile launch programme for 2008, we will carry out four missile launches before the end of the year, including a test-firing of the RS-24 ICBM from the Plesetsk base.”

The senior military official told the Russian news agency on Wednesday that in this year, there has been three successful launches, one in June and two in August. He said that the Strategic Missile Forces command will ensure the forces' development as the most economical and effective branch of the military.

Solovtsov said in the last couple of years, the Russian forces had not been receiving more than four percent of the country's defence budget (9.89 billion rubles in 2008), while they have two-thirds of Russia's total nuclear warheads.

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