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Russians Claim to Be Fast-Tracking New Missile That Can Burn Through U.S. Defenses

"Work on a new rocket is going at full speed."

Topol M intercontinental ballistic missile launchers roll down the street during the parade rehearsal in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Russia will hold a military parade marking the victory in WWII on May 9 all over the country including Sevastopol. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

Russia may be fast-tracking a new ballistic missile, capable of penetrating "almost any air defense system," according to the Moscow Times.

The Russian news organization reported that by 2021 nearly the entire Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces arsenal will be comprised of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of traversing the North and South poles.

Russia held a military parade marking the WWII victory May 9 and rolled Topol M intercontinental ballistic missile launchers roll down the Moscow streets. Russian military commanders say their newest "Sarmatian" missile can overcome U.S. defenses. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

"Work on a new rocket is going at full speed," Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said. "The heavy missile is really a unique weapon that the U.S. does not have."

The missile is tentatively named "Sarmatian" after an ancient group of nomadic Iranians who migrated from Central Asia and eventually settled in most of southern European Russia and the eastern Balkans; the Sarmatians were highly developed in horsemanship and warfare.

The new, heavy liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile is designed overcome the United States' prospective missile defense system, Strategic Missile Forces chief Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said in 2011, according to Global Security. The silo-launched heavy missile will have “enhanced capability to breach a hypothetical US missile defense system,” he said.

Borisov said the program was initiated in response to a U.S. initiative known as Prompt Global Strike, which will make it possible to deploy nonnuclear missile strikes anywhere on the planet within an hour.

In 2013 Russian military officials said Sarmatians may comprise up to 80 percent of Russia's nuclear arsenal, and Borisov said the project is progressing ahead of schedule.  As part of the New START treaty signed with the United States in 2011, Russian nuclear forces will be limited to 1,550 warheads and 700 total deployed strategic nuclear delivery systems including long-range missiles and bombers by 2018.

The government plans to pump $23 trillion into a rearmament program by 2020, according to the Moscow Times.

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(H/T: Moscow Times)

Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter. 

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