Russia plans to finalize tests of the Topol-M modernized strategic missile system and begin series production in 1996, according to Strategic Missile Forces commander-in-chief, Col. General Igor Sergeyev. Russia should have a national missile system, he said, adding that "A joint well-balanced development of silo-based and mobile (surface) rocket launchers" is the future of the Strategic Missile Forces. (11)
The Topol-M type missile is apparently being designed to serve the armed forces in a variety of combat roles and missions. This will help the Defense Ministry economize on research, development, testing and procurement costs. Silo-based launchers have the highest combat readiness and the warheads of their rockets often achieve the best accuracies, but the existence of high-precision weapons make silos increasingly vulnerable. Mobile rocket launchers, in contrast, have greater survivability. Both types can be used in counterforce (first) and retaliatory (second) strike roles.
Province Encroaching on the Powers of the Center?