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Russian Military Plans to deploy New Ballistic Missile System

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov says the Russian military plans to deploy a new intercontinental ballistic missile system.

A successful test launch of the system was conducted Friday. Mr. Ivanov said the military expects to begin buying the new mobile Topol-M missiles in 2005, and to put them in service by January, 2006.

Mr. Ivanov said this latest test was the final one for the new weapon, which he said was easier to fire and had greater accuracy and range than the current model.

Mr. Ivanov added that Russia will keep its nuclear capability equal to that of the United States and other nuclear powers in technological sophistication, but not in the actual numbers of weapons.