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Russian priest brought in to 'bless' new missile system

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/5535 Russian priest brought in to bless new missile system By staff writers 8 Aug 2007 Russia has deployed a new weapons
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2007
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      http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/5535

      Russian priest brought in to 'bless' new missile system
      By staff writers
      8 Aug 2007

      Russia has deployed a new weapons defence system
      in a ceremony which included an Orthodox priest
      ‘blessing’ the new Russian S-400 Triumph missile
      with holy water in a broadcast on national television news.

      The event highlights the close identification of
      church and state in post-Soviet Russia – an
      alliance which has been a cause of concern to
      other Christians, to people of minority faith and
      those of no religious beliefs.

      The surface-to-air missile upgrades the previous
      S-300 system with stronger rocket engines and an
      improved guidance system, say military analysts.

      It may also be made available for export – at a
      time when international attempts are still in
      hand to restrict the growth and impact of weapons sales.

      Russian officials say the Triumph missile is
      capable of intercepting stealth aircraft and also
      objects flying as low as 10 metres, according to a Voice of America report.

      Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russian military analyst,
      says that the S-400 could also present a danger to civilian aircraft.

      "There is a lot of air traffic around Moscow," he
      explained. "[T]here could be complications with
      this missile, because operators control it to a
      certain point, but afterwards it flies on autopilot."

      The new missile extends the range of the previous
      S-300 system used by the Ukrainian air force to
      accidentally shoot down a civilian airliner over the Black Sea in 2001.

      Dr Felgenhauer notes that a similar accident in
      Russia resulted in the downing of a passenger
      plane over the Urals in the 1960's. In time of
      war, he says, mistaken identity is all the more likely.

      The Triumph missile, code-named the Growler by
      NATO forces, is currently being deployed to cover Moscow.

      Igor Ashurbeili, director of the Almaz Design
      Bureau, which produces the weapons system, says
      it could be sold on the export market.
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