Press Statement following an Inspection of the Strategic Missile Forces’ and Space and Rocket Sector’s Technology and Facilities 2006-12-14 13:59:34 Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Arkhangelsk Region President Vladimir Putin: This is a working visit, not a tour of inspection. The facilities we saw today were planned back in 2001 and it was back then that we made the relevant decisions and work began. As you know, our plans for the Topol-M were developed even earlier, before 2001, but that was the year when work really began in earnest. I am very happy with the way these plans are being implemented in the Strategic Missile Forces, the Space Forces and here at the launching centre. The Topol-M itself is a missile of a completely new kind that has come out of radical modification and modernisation of the Topol missile and uses exclusively Russian-produced technology and components. This mobile strategic missile complex truly is a twenty-first century weapon. Its survivability and precision have been considerably enhanced. It has been equipped with specially designed systems that enable it to penetrate anti-missile defences and guarantee that it can carry out its missions even in the face of prospective missile defence systems. All of this will make our nuclear deterrent forces effective in the long term. The work taking place here is not only being completed according to schedule but is even running ahead of schedule. This goes for the modernisation of the test centre we are at right now, and also for the development of the launch site itself. It also goes for the creation of new infrastructure components for light, medium and heavy missiles – for the new Angara missile. Work on this programme is also moving ahead faster than was initially planned, and though we had planned at first to launch the Angara in 2012, we now think it will be possible to bring it forward to 2011. Resolving social issues is also an important matter. We had planned to have the site connected to the main gas pipeline by 2012, but Gazprom and the Defence Ministry have completed this work ahead of time and the gas is already here. All the social facilities and the infrastructure facilities of the launching centre itself will be linked in all the positional districts to the gas supply very soon. Regarding other social issues, although connecting the servicemen’s houses in the town of Mirny to the mainline gas supply is certainly a good piece of news, it is still far from enough and the houses themselves and the town’s infrastructure do not measure up to modern standards. I think that we need to start work as soon as possible on drawing up a general development plan for the town of Mirny so that the people stationed here and their families not only enjoy comfortable conditions but take pleasure from their work and their living conditions. All of this together gives me full justification for saying that the Defence Ministry, the Defence Minister, General Staff, the Strategic Missile Forces’ and Space Forces’ command staff and the command staff of the launching centre are doing their work at the highest possible level. I am happy with the way the work is progressing.