Russia test-fired an intercontinental Stilet missile on Wednesday as part of the checks needed to extend the service of the weapon until 2010, the strategic missile forces said.
The missile, which belongs to a type commissioned in 1979 and known in the West as SS-19, was fired from Baikonur space centre hired by
"The results of the launch confirmed a decision to extend the exploitation time of one of the most reliable missile complexes up to 31 years," it added.
Russian leaders have pledged tens of millions dollars for the military to develop new types of rockets, capable of breaking through any missile defense system, including the one being set up by the
Test launches of new missiles have become routine in the past few years and the Kremlin says
However, the Russian military say that the existing types of missiles are powerful enough to be a reliable nuclear deterrent and can be used further after tests confirming their good technical condition.
Earlier this month,
"Prolonging the exploitation time for Stilets allows to free up considerable funds for other important state needs," the statement said. "The annual spending on research and construction is comparable with building one new missile."