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Pentagon denies it knows of improved Soviet missile

Defense Department spokesman Thomas Ross said Monday he had no knowledge of a new Soviet medium- range missile, reportedly designated the SS-38, Monitor correspondent Stephen Webbe reports. But Western intelligence sources say the missile, which is said to be a replacement for the SS-20, carries four warheads and is equipped with an improved guidance system. It is also said to have a longer range than the SS-20, which now threatens the capitals of Europe from sites in East Germany. The increased range of the SS-38 would reputedly bring the Persian Gulf within its range.

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