A news agency has quoted a senior Russian admiral as saying that the role of tactical nuclear weapons in the Russian navy may grow.
Vice Adm. Oleg Burtsev was quoted by RIA-Novosti as saying that the increasing range and precision of tactical nuclear weapons makes them an important military asset.
The United States and the Soviet Union decided in 1991 to eliminate some of their non-strategic nuclear weapons and withdraw others from duty, including those used on ships. But a senior Russian official said in 2006 that Russian submarines continued to carry such weapons.
Burtsev was also quoted Monday as saying that the navy will build six new nuclear submarines of the Yuri Dolgoruky class carrying intercontinental ballistic missiles.