Russian military experts have forecast that the Western nations will have 80,000 cruise missiles by 2020, Russian general staff deputy commander General Igor Sheremet has said.

“We expect Western countries to have at least 80,000 cruise missiles by 2020, including about 2,000 that are nuclear powered,” he added.

The general also added that the missiles being developed would be used not just for drilling or intimidation purposes but also for disarming and execution.

Russia is planning to develop its air and space defence system this year to be able to defend itself amidst the rising threats.

The new system will combine the existing air defence and missile defence networks, missile early-warning systems and airspace monitoring systems under a single strategic command.

The new air and space defence system commander Valery Ivanov had earlier said that the system would be operational by the end of 2011, according to RIA Novosti.