In this image from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile blasts off during a test launch from the Plesetsk launch pad in northwestern Russia, March 30, 2018.
MOSCOW, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Russian nuclear forces are ahead of U.S. ones by some 10 to 15 years, Yury Solomonov, general designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT), said Thursday.
"They will not be able to catch up quickly with the ideas that we have already implemented, although it is not difficult in the modern world to implement them and start production," Solomonov said in an interview with Argumenty Nedeli newspaper.
"This does not mean that they will not be able to do the same. But if they start doing it now, they will be able to catch up in 10 to 15 years," he said.
The MITT is the designer of Russia's Yars, Topol and Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Solomonov said that the U.S. nuclear potential remains very powerful, but its weapons modernization system is fundamentally different from the Russian one.
For example, the U.S. Minuteman ICBMs created in the 1930s have not been substituted by new ones but upgraded to extend their lifespan to 2030, he said.
Russia, however, has created a new generation of land- and sea-based strategic nuclear forces with minimized costs, he said.
Speaking about the U.S. ballistic missile defense system being deployed in Alaska and Europe, Solomonov said that Russia should not be afraid of it as its "efficiency is extremely low."
But the danger of this system is that its components can be easily transformed into attack weapons, he said.