Russia Plans New ICBMs, Nuclear Subs

– The big patterns are what’s important. The world’s major powers have quietly recognized that without oil or a viable replacment for it, their engines of economic prosperity and their political and military powers are going to gradually diminsh and then disappear. Japan’s a great example. Something like 90% or more of the country’s oil is imported. What will the economic miracle of Japan do if the oil tap begins to run dry? Go back to medevil farming? Not likely. No, the US, Japan, China, Russia, the EU and a host of others are quietly but intensly thinking about how to position themselves to either gain acess to oil, hang onto the oil they have or align themselves with someone who has it or can get it. As oil gets scarce and our dependence on it remains intractable, there’s going to be no other game in town, folks.


MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s defense minister on Wednesday laid out an ambitious plan for building new intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines and possibly aircraft carriers, and set the goal of exceeding the Soviet army in combat readiness.

Sergei Ivanov’s statements appeared aimed at raising his profile at home ahead of the 2008 election in which he is widely seen as a potential contender to succeed President Vladimir Putin. But they also seemed to reflect a growing chill in Russian-U.S. relations and the Kremlin’s concern about U.S. missile defense plans.

Ivanov told parliament the military would get 17 new ballistic missiles this year – a drastic increase over the average of four deployed annually in recent years. The purchases are part of a weapons modernization program for 2007-2015 worth about $190 billion.

The plan envisages the deployment of 34 new silo-based Topol-M missiles and control units, as well as an additional 50 such missiles mounted on mobile launchers by 2015; Russia so far has deployed more than 40 silo-based Topol-Ms.

Putin and other officials have described the Topol-M as a bulwark of Russia’s nuclear might for years to come, and said it can penetrate any prospective missile defenses. Last week, Putin dismissed U.S. claims that missile defense sites Washington hopes to establish in Poland and the Czech Republic were intended to counter threats from Iran, and said Russia would respond by developing more efficient weapons systems.


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