MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia announced on Monday it would hold a large test of its Strategic Missile Forces that will see it fire ballistic and cruise missiles from the land, sea and air this week.

The exercise, from Oct. 15-17, will involve around 12,000 military personnel, as well as aircraft, including strategic nuclear bombers, surface ships and submarines, Russia's Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

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DoD/Lisa Ferdinando

The U.S. is hoping to deploy new ground-based intermediate-range missiles to Asia "sooner rather than later," U.S. defense chief Mark Esper said of a move that could have huge ramifications for regional security.

Esper's remarks were likely to raise already-soaring tensions with Beijing and add to fears of a new arms race involving the U.S., China and Russia.

"Yes I would like to," Esper said late Saturday when asked if the United States was considering deploying new medium-range conventional weapons in Asia now that Washington is no longer bound by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which the U.S. formally withdrew from a day earlier.

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The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Aviation & Missile Center facilitated the first land-based launch of Raytheon's Naval Strike Missile during RIMPAC 2018 (AMRDEC WDI/David Hogan)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland -- The Marine Corps is dropping nearly $48 million on Raytheon's Naval Strike Missile (NSM) as it moves toward a series of experiments involving striking enemy ships and maritime targets from land.

Raytheon announced this week during the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space conference outside Washington, D.C., that it will provide the NSM to the Marine Corps under a $47.59 million Other Transaction Authority agreement, a Pentagon spending category for experimentation and prototyping.

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U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252 help Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 501 with the aerial refueling of F-35B Lightning II aircraft over Florida Oct. 2, 2012. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Gabriela Garcia)

The Defense Department is weighing a plan to deploy F-35 fighters to hover on the outskirts of North Korea airspace and neutralize intercontinental ballistic missiles shortly after launch, Reuters reports.

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The Marine Corps is looking for a new long-range anti-ship missile "as fast as possible" amid a major transformation of the service's naval warfare concepts, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told the U.S. Naval Institute last week.

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A Ghadr-H missile, center, a solid-fuel surface-to-surface Sejjil missile and a portrait of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are displayed at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran, on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, for the annual Defense Week which marks the 37th anniversary of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. (Associated Press/Vahid Salemi)

Iran tried twice in the past month to launch a satellite into space. Both attempts ended in failure, and it may not be an accident.

The U.S. has been secretly sabotaging Iranian missiles and rockets, the New York Times reported Wednesday, citing half a dozen current and former officials. Since the program began a little over a decade ago, 67 percent of Iran's orbital launches have failed. The global failure rate for similar launches is only 5 percent.

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