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Russia To Launch Military Satellites To Detect Missiles

2/23/2012 2:58 AM ET

Russia plans to launch at least 100 military satellites in the next ten years to boost its reconnaissance and missile detection capabilities, according to Russian Space Agency 'Roscosmos' chief Vladimir Popovkin.

"The new 100 satellites will provide us with better quality intelligence, faster and more reliable communications," Popovkin told Russia's Vesti-24 TV channel in an interview on Wednesday.

He said the new satellites would also enable Russia "to detect the launches and track not only ballistic, but also cruise missiles, theater and tactical missiles."

Expansion of the military satellite cluster will also boost global positioning and mapping capabilities of the Russian military, which is necessary to guide advanced high-precision weapons being developed in the country.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier said that the deployment of high-precision weaponry would be part of Russia's response to the U.S.-based European missile shield, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Moscow continues to oppose the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming that they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran.

by RTT Staff Writer

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