MOSCOW -- The Russian military in Moscow reported successfully test-firing a non-nuclear ballistic missile Monday from a submarine submerged in the Arctic Ocean.
A navy statement said the dummy missile was fired from a Delta Class IV Tula submarine in the Barents Sea at a target site on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East, the Novosti news agency reported.
Tula submarines form the backbone of the strategic nuclear fleet and each are equipped with 16 intercontinental PSM-54 missiles and torpedoes, the military said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered stepped-up testing of defense systems in the past year based on several disputes, particularly with the United States' plans to build missile shield sites in Eastern Europe.
There is also an ongoing dispute among five countries -- Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States -- about sovereignty in the Arctic, with its rich energy reserves and expanding sea routes.
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