Moscow, May 3 (UNI) Russian Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Masorin today said the country would replace its ageing strategic submarine fleet by constructing state-of-the-art submarines as a matter of priority in the next five years.
''We are allocating most funds for the construction of new submarines. We should be able to replace strategic submarines with new ones in the near future,'' Admiral Masorin said at a press conference in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, after a meeting with the CEOs of the defence industry companies.
''The new Bulava ballistic missile have been designed specifically to equip new strategic submarines,'' RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
Bulava missiles, a sea-based version of the Topol-M, is planned to be deployed on Borey-class nuclear submarines in 2008.
Russia conducted two successful test launches of the Bulava missiles, last year. The first in-flight test launch was conducted on September 27 last year from the Dmitry Donskoi, a Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine.
The second Bulava was successfully test-fired on December 21 in the same year from the Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea, which hit a designated target on the Kura test site on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Admiral Masorin also said Russia would continue building small and medium size surface ships, rather than ''huge missile cruisers.'' UNI XC PM ND2250