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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Navy to Upgrade Its Nuclear Might

Half of Russia's nuclear warheads and delivery systems are to be concentrated in the navy in the next century, the naval chief of staff said Monday.

Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov was quoted by Interfax as saying President Boris Yeltsin had ordered the upgrade at a meeting of the Security Council on Sunday.

Kuroyedov said the navy, with 30 percent of the nuclear arsenal, was in third place behind the strategic missile forces and the air force in terms of nuclear might.

"Our task is to bring the navy into first place'' over the next 15 to 20 years, Kuroyedov said, according to Interfax.

Kuroyedov said that Russia's strategic naval forces included 26 ICBM-equipped nuclear submarines and that the number would remain unchanged. He said the navy would upgrade its power by modernizing its submarine fleet and missiles.

Kuroyedov admitted in May that steep budget cuts in recent years have forced the navy to reduce the number of its ships and sharply curtail new orders.