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MOSCOW, May 7. /TASS/. The combat strength of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces at the turn of 2019-2020 will be increased to 13 missile divisions by means of creating a joint formation with the Barguzin rail-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile systems, a source in the Russian General Staff told TASS on Thursday.
At this point, the Strategic Missile Forces comprise 12 missile divisions, which are combined in three missile armies.
"In 2019-2020 it is planned to commission the Barguzin rail-mobile ICBM system that will entail the emergence of a new military formation with this missile system, which will increase the RVSN combat strength up to 13 missile divisions," the source said. He said that making operational the RS-26 light intercontinental ballistic missile and the heavy missile Sarmat would not change the Strategic Missile Forces’ combat strength, as they will replace the old missiles Topol and Voyevoda.
TASS has got no official confirmation to these reports yet.
According to previous reports, a Barguzin battalion set is planned to comprise five missile regiments, each of which will be armed with six RS-24 Yars-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. The new systems are expected to become operational no earlier than 2018 and will remain in service until at least 2040. Former Chief of the Strategic Missile Forces General Staff Viktor Yesin said previously that the creation of Barguzin was Russia’s response to the deployment of the American global missile defence system.
Barguzin’s predecessors - Soviet rail-mobile missile systems - were removed from service in 2005. The New START Treaty does not ban the creation of such weapons.