Moscow, Sep 25 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian Defence Ministry has abandoned plans to set up a unified command structure for the country's nuclear triad, according to Izvestia newspaper.
As a result, each major branch of the armed forces -- the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF), the Air Force and the Navy -- will retain control over its own triad component, the daily reported, citing an unidentified source in the ministry.
In the absence of any official statement from the ministry, the paper suggested that the decision might result from an unresolved internal struggle for leadership within the new structure.
The creation of a unified strategic nuclear command has been one option under consideration by the Russian military since late 1990s. The idea's proponents, including former SMF commander Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, argue it would streamline both the development and the deployment of Russia's nuclear triad.
The plan envisioned the direct subordination of the command to the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
According to the latest official figures, Russia has 494 deployed launchers for land, sea and air-based missiles armed with 1,492 warheads.