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Russian Missile Force reports combat training result

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) has carried out a total of 11 large-scale exercises and two test launches of strategic missiles in 2009.

According to a statement issued by the SMF, a total of 11 command-and-staff drills on strategic and operational levels, and 22 exercises on the tactical level were conducted by the SMF in the current year.

On Wednesday top officials of the Strategic Missile Force held a meeting in the Russian capital, chaired by new SMF Commander Lt. Gen. Andrei Shvaichenko. The gathering discussed the results of combat training in 2009 and also set plans for the next year.

The SMF test launched an RS-12M Topol ballistic missile on April 10 and a RS-20B missile (a converted SS-18) and plans five additional test launches before the end of the year.

Ria Novosti report adds that six types of silo-based and mobile ICBM systems are on combat duty with the SMF, including the heavy Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) capable of carrying 10 warheads, and the Topol-M (Stalin) systems.

The SMF has a total of 538 ICBMs, including 306 SS-25 Sickle missiles, 88 SS-18 Satan and 56 SS-27 Topol-M missiles, it added.

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