Russia has begun mass production of Topol-M strategic missiles, the country’s First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday.
“We are now moving on to a new and very important rearmament stage for both our nuclear strategic forces and our tactical complexes,” he said at the plant at Votkinsk in Udmurtia, some 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) east of Moscow, quoted by the Interfax news agency.
“These are not prototypes but mass production,” he said.
“I am talking of stationary Topol-M missile complexes but also of mobile ones which can be fitted with different types of warhead, as well as Iskander-M missiles.”
The Topol-M is known to NATO as the SS-27 and is a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) which can be deployed on both stationary and mobile launch platforms.
It is 22.7 metres (74 feet) long with a diameter of 1.95 metres (6.4 feet) and weighs 47 tonnes.
The Iskander-M is a short range tactical missile known to NATO as the SS-26.
Ivanov announced in July 2006 that by 2015 the Russian armed forces would be equipped with 69 Topol-M missiles and about 60 Iskander-M weapons.