MOSCOW — Russia is deploying its advanced Topol-M ballistic missiles in its fleet of nuclear submarines, a senior general said, signaling a shift in its military tactics.

Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, first deputy chief of Russia's General Staff, told a weekend edition of the Tribuna newspaper that priority was being given to sea-launched rather than land-based Topols.

The rockets have a range of more than 6,250 miles and have been designed to defeat the sort of missile defense systems that the United States is planning to build — in the teeth of Russian opposition.

Russia's defense ministry declined to comment on the report.

The first 10 Topol rockets were deployed in the Saratov region on the Volga River in 1998, and six to 10 more deployed in each of the subsequent two years. Cash constraints meant there was no funding for more last year.

Tribuna said the military's cash crunch meant defense chiefs had been forced to make a choice between land-based systems and sea-launches, which are more flexible and difficult to detect by a potential enemy.

The bulk of Russia's nuclear deterrent is currently land-based — in fixed silos or mobile missile launchers — or delivered by strategic heavy bombers.