Amid growing tensions with NATO, a division of Russia’s Aerospace Force will practice detecting ballistic missiles during launches carried out by the Strategic Missile Force, Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel-General Viktor Bondarev said Wednesday, in an interview with Russian daily Krasnaya Zvezda.

Space Troops, the division of Aerospace Force, is expected to launch 15 carrier rockets this year and about 40 tactical exercises with subordinate military units will also be conducted, Bondarev reportedly said.

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"The Space Troops will team up with other branches and services of the Russian Armed Forces to practice detecting ballistic missiles, using the forces and resources of the (Special Designation) Aerospace Army during the demonstrative launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles by the Strategic Missile Force," Bondarev told the Russian-language newspaper, according to Tass news agency.

"For the purpose of building up the orbital grouping of satellites, 15 launches of space carrier rockets have been planned to deliver more than 20 satellites into orbit," Bondarev added.

The force is also planning to hold live tests with the launch of an anti-missile system, the commander said.

"Live tests have been scheduled in anti-ballistic missile defense units with the launch of an anti-missile, as well as over ten joint drills for [anti-ballistic missile] system crews to prepare counter-missiles for combat use, and also measures to detect and track the launches of domestic carrier rockets and to monitor space vehicles," Bondarev reportedly said.

This comes after a March 6 report by London-based Royal United Services Institute urged NATO to boost its presence in the North Atlantic Ocean to tackle threats from the Russian navy. However, Nikolai Topornin, an associate professor of European Law at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Moscow State Institute of International Relations dismissed the claims of any Russian threat during an interview with Radio Sputnik.

Tensions between NATO and Russia have flared up recently, with both sides undergoing extensive military escalations in recent months.