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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 23:51 GMT
Russia boasts of new technology
Colonel General Yuri Baluyevsky
The technology will enable Russia to outwit any defence system
Russia says it has developed a new ballistic missile technology that can beat any defence system.

A top army official said Russia had test-launched such a system that could manage a mid-flight manoeuvre.

Colonel-General Yuri Baluyevsky made the announcement in Moscow as Russian forces conducted military exercises.

During the Cold War Russia and the US had agreed not to develop large scale missile defences but President Bush pulled out of the treaty in 2002.

The US president said the America had to take such a step in order to ward off threats from terrorists.

Although at that time Moscow did not object, it has lately complained about Washington's plans to build nuclear weapons.

Orbital manoeuvres

We can build weapons which will render any anti-missile system defenceless against an attack by Russia's strategic forces
Colonel General Yuri Baluyevsky

Colonel Baluyevsky gave few details of the new missile which was tested on Wednesday, but said it was one that moved five times the speed of sound.

This enabled the weapon to manoeuvre while in flight allowing it to dodge missile defence systems.

Colonel Baluyevsky said the tests "confirmed that we can build weapons which will render any anti-missile system defenceless against an attack by Russia's strategic forces".

The colonel's comments come after President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia could build unrivalled new strategic weapons.

The president made the statement when he attended military manoeuvres by Russian forces.

Colonel Baluyevsky's announcement comes after days of reports of failed manoeuvre exercises.

Arkhangelsk, one of Russia's largest Soviet-built nuclear submarines (file photo)
Mr Putin had been due to watch the launch from this submarine

On Wednesday a ballistic missile failed to fire from a submarine during a military exercise attended by President Vladimir Putin.

The missile was blown by its automatic safety system after veering off its flight path.

And on Tuesday two missiles failed to launch from another submarine during a military exercise in the Barents Sea.

However the Russian navy has denied such failures.

Second Russian missile misfires
18 Feb 04  |  Europe
Russia bares its military teeth
02 Oct 03  |  Europe

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