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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Russia Successfully Tests Own Missile Defense

MosNews: The Russian military on Tuesday conducted a successful test launch of an interceptor missile used in the nation’s missile defense system, officials are quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

The missile was launched from the Sary-Shagan testing range, which Russia leases from Kazakhstan, Russian space forces spokesman Col. Alexei Kuznetsov told The Associated Press.

“The launch was part of the program to extend the service lifetime of this type of missiles, and it has confirmed the missile’s main parameters,” he said, adding that its previous test launch in 2004 was also a success.

Kuznetsov said such interceptor missiles have been used with a missile defense system deployed around Moscow since the Soviet times to protect it from intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Soviet Union deployed the anti-ballistic missile system around Moscow in 1974 and it has been continuously modernized. It complied with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which allowed both the United States and Russia to protect a single site with no more than 100 interceptors. The United States had a similar system to protect missile fields in North Dakota in the 1970s, but it scrapped it.

In 2002, Washington withdrew from the ABM treaty in order to deploy a national missile defense shield — a move opposed by Russia, which said the pact was a key element of international security.

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