Moscow: Russia has put into service the airspace force as a new branch of the Russian armed forces, the country’s defence ministry said.

The newly-formed force, which is comprised of the Russian air force and airspace defence force, is an optimal option of increasing Russia’s airspace defence capabilities, Xinhua quoted Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying.

The new force will combine the tasks of anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence as well as exercising early-warning duties, and it will also be responsible for space monitoring, its newly-appointed commander Victor Bondarev said.

The creation of the airspace force would neutralise the capabilities of the US to conduct first strike.

Russian airspace defence force was created in December 2011. In December 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to launch the airspace force by mid-2015.

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