MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's land and sea-based ballistic missiles will be equipped with the same type of a new warhead, the defense minister said Monday commenting on a successful test launch conducted over the weekend.
"This launch allows us to not simply hope, but be certain that all future missiles that will be put in service starting from the end of this year will be equipped with this warhead," Sergei Ivanov told a government meeting attended by President Vladimir Putin.
The minister said both land and sea-based ballistic missiles would be equipped with either a single warhead or MIRV (multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle) and deployed by the Strategic Missile Forces and the Navy.
Ivanov also said that the test launch was conducted on April 22 from the Kapustin Yar site in southern Russia, and a dummy warhead hit the target area located 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) away at the Balkhash site in Kazakhstan with a deviation of only a few hundred meters.
A leading missile designer earlier said that Russia's sea- and land-based missile groups would be re-equipped by 2015 and the Strategic Missile Forces would have 2,000 warheads by 2020.
Russia has five missile regiments equipped with silo-based Topol-M ballistic missiles and the first regiment equipped with mobile Topol-M systems will be put on combat duty in 2006.
Bulava missiles, a sea-based version of the Topol-M, could be deployed on Borey-class nuclear submarines as early as in 2008, the designer said.