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Daily Military Brief, December 20

MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA Novosti)

Below is a summary of the main military-related events in Russia, the CIS and neighboring countries on December 20, 2005

* During a news conference in Moscow, head of Russia's strategic air command Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said the following:

- Russian strategic bombers could deliver preventive strikes at terrorist bases

- the Russian air force would receive a Tu-160 strategic bomber in February and another one by the end of 2006

- Russia was planning to test launch more than 10 cruise missiles next year

- the strategic air force command was planning a series of exercises in Russia's north, the Far East, and in the Atlantic

- Russia and the United States agreed to exchange information on air force exercises and flights of long-range aircraft

- the strategic air command's aircraft modernization program would focus on electronics and the adoption of bombers for using conventional weapons

- the Russian air force was not planning to form new organizational structures or abolish existing ones

- there were no plans so far to expand the network of airfields for the strategic air command

- the sale of Tu-22M3 (NATO designation Backfire-C) long-range bombers to India had not yet been finalized

* The Russian defense minister dismissed a deputy commander of the Moscow military district

* The upper house of the Russian parliament approved amendments to a law on the status of the military personnel aimed to increase social support for draftees after they have finished serving their terms in the military

* Commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Masorin arrived in Sevastopol to conduct an inspection of the Black Sea Fleet

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