August 11, 2009

Russia Building New Rocket In Response To US Space Defense

The commander of Russia's air force said on Tuesday that the United States will be able to hit any target in Russia from space by 2030. At the same time he announced that Moscow will develop a new air defense system to avert any possible threat, Reuters reported.

Three-star General Alexander Zelin told Russian news agencies: "The development of air and space offensive weapons by foreign states demonstrates that by 2030 radical changes will take place in the exploration of air and space as an integral sphere of armed struggle."

He continued: "Air forces of foreign states, primarily that of the United States, will gain an opportunity to make coordinated, high-precision strikes on a global scale at practically all targets on the territory of the Russian Federation."

Zelin did not confirm what kind of strike Russia could be threatened with from space or which other countries might pose a threat.

After the expiration of the 1991 START-1 pact in December, which was a joint effort by the U.S. and Russia to improve relations between the two countries, Russia will be negotiating a new nuclear arms deal with the United States.

Russia stated it hopes that U.S. President Barack Obama would not pursue his predecessor George W. Bush's plan to deploy weapons in space, as Russia's Defense Ministry warned in June that Moscow was ready to respond appropriately to such a move.

The Pentagon began researching new anti-missile systems during the Bush administration in order to guard against a launch from North Korea or Iran.

Medvedev stated that any further arms cuts between Russia and the U.S. would require mutual limitations on the creation of ground-based anti-missile systems and a ban on deploying weapons in space.

He is asking President Obama to abandon plans for a ground-based anti-missile system with components deployed in Europe, a project Moscow sees as a direct threat.

However, Russia plans to create its own new air and space defense by 2020, Zelin said.

He added that Russia must be ready to deter potential aggressors at regional and global levels in peaceful times and to rebuff an armed aggression by its entire arsenal of conventional and nuclear weapons during a war.

Moscow is now developing a fifth-generation, surface-to-air rocket called the S-500, Zelin said.

"It is able to implement in full the tasks of air and space defense and is capable of engaging ballistic hypersonic targets flying at a speed of 3 miles per second," Zelin said.