SENIOR EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE BRIEF

Created: 6/4/1999

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Russia: Results of Nuclear Test Program Last Year

First Deputy Minister of Atomic Energy Ryabevezavisimaya Gazeta article onay said five nuclear experiments were conducted last year at the Novaya Zemlya test site between

eptember andecember.

is quoied as saying the tests were conducied in special containers cemented into rock

Ryabev says the experiments were rarried out "in strict accordance with the requirements of the Comprehensive Test Ban

Top frirrnl

Analytic Perspective

Nuclear Test Program This Year

Russian Security Council in Apriluclear test program at Novaya Zemlya more extensive than the one conducted last year, according to press reports. One of several rjrobable objectives of the tests Is the development of low-yield warheads.

According to an article in Nezavubnaya Gazeta. informed sources say "far more money" will be spent on experiments this year and the new tests will be conductedompletely different qualitative level andatter of priority.'!

The Security Council secretary told reporters after the meeting in April that Russia needs to conduct additional nuclear experiments, implying that the Council agreedest plan. Increased resources would permit Russia to cany out more than the five experiments it conducted last year and to broaden the objectives of the tests. I

The development of low-yield warheads that could be used on Mgh-precision tactical weaponsadvocated by former Minister and now First Deputy Minister of Atomic Energybe consistent with Rrtssia's irKaeasing reliance on nuclear weapons to deter conventional as wefl as nuclear aggression, especially given the widespread percepdoneightened threat from NATO.

In addition, defense officials would be interested in low-yield warheads because of fearsuture battlefield could emerge on Russian soil.

For the new weapons to achieve maximum effectiveness, the Russians would have to produce and deploy newer, more accurate delivery systems, mcluding the air-launched cruise missile

in development and theRBM, which the Army may begin to procure in Umited quantities this year. I

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