Russia aims to upgrade nuclear arsenal

Russia must modernize its armed forces and upgrade its nuclear deterrent, in part by building a new air and space defense network, the president said Friday.

President Dmitry Medvedev also announced plans to begin large-scale production of warships, primarily nuclear-powered submarines armed with cruise missiles.

Medvedev said the need for the modernization was demonstrated by last month's military conflict with Georgia. Russia responded to Georgia's attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia with overwhelming force and easily crushed the Georgian army, but the brief war highlighted Russia's aging arsenal.

"We must ensure superiority in the air, in carrying out precision strikes at land and sea targets and in the timely deployment of forces," Medvedev told military commanders after military exercises in the southern Orenburg region.

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