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Russia plots to build SMART BOMBS and vows to develop nuclear power

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Yury Borisov said Moscow intended to increase its precision-guided missiles and develop its nuclear power capabilities in an interview with the Voenno-Promyshlenny Kurier (Military-Industrial Courier) newspaper.

Mr Boris said the development of nuclear power will remain the focus of the state arms programme "as the main deterring factor of possible aggression against Russia.”

He said: "The character of military action is changing, as could be seen from the Syrian conflict and the local wars of the last decades.

“The role of precision-guided munition is growing. So our second priority is extending the list of such arms.

Russia ICBM missiles in Moscow in 2013.

Russia's ICBM rockets on display in 2013

"The third priority is intelligence and information support for military action. These are the space forces, navigation and unmanned vehicles.”

Russia is expected to carry out its first test of its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), Mr Borisov also confirmed.

He said: “When it comes to Sarmat… we are planning the first launch exercises toward the end of 2017.”

The missile is intended to eventually replace the Soviet-made backbone of Russia’s nuclear missile forces, the R-36M Voyevoda.

The missile was intended to first be tested last year but has been caught in delays during its secretive development process.

It reportedly has a payload of up to a dozen warheads that are individually steerable and can strike an area the size of Texas or France.

Russia's state newswire service Itar-Tass has speculated the Sarmat can "overcome any anti-missile defence system," while the Ministry of Defence's TV channel Zvezda claimed the missile can "sink half of California with one strike."

Russian defence officials, so far, have not verified such claims.

Vladimir Putin.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin

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In May this year Russia confirmed it was upgrading its rocket artillery brigades by 2020.

The announcement was made by Russian Missile Troops and Artillery commander General Mikhail Matveyevsky who said Moscow’s Tornado-S multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) will be replaced with the Smerch systems.

He said: "The rearmament of all missile brigades to modern Iskander-M missile systems and rocket artillery brigades to large-calibre Tornado-S multiple launch rocket systems will be completed.”

Russia's army in action.

Russia's army in combat training

The new Tornado-S system is a lighter version of Smerch and easier to mobilise but there is a slight reduction of firepower. The new system also uses the same GLONASS satellite navigation system.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also been updating its nuclear submarines, equipping them with long range “Sizzler” missiles.

The subs, which are the largest available to Russia, are primarily designed to attack US Navy formations and coastal targets in the event of a conflict.

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