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MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Russia is developing an upgraded version of the Oka tactical missile system (NATO reporting name: SS-23 Spider) scrapped under the INF Treaty, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Wednesday.
"There is no need in restoring the old system. We’re developing a new complex," Borisov said, adding the new missile system would be based on the Oka principle.
Present-day technologies allow for improving the system’s range and accuracy characteristics, the deputy defense minister said.
The OTR-23 Oka tactical ballistic missile system entered service in the Soviet Army in 1983. According to military experts, the Oka complexes made the US newest Patriot air defense missile systems completely ineffective at that time.
The Oka system had a range of 400 km (248.5 miles) and, consequently, was excluded from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) but was nonetheless scrapped under the treaty.
The INF Treaty signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987 stipulated the elimination of all ground-based ballistic missiles with the shorter ranges of between 500 and 1,000 km and the intermediate ranges of between 1,000 and 5,000 km.
The disposal of the ballistic missiles under the INF Treaty ended in 1991 and Russia and the United States completed their inspections in 2001.
The Soviet Union eliminated over 200 Oka missiles and 102 launchers.