No New Equipment Expected For Ground Forces Until 2010?

No new military equipment or weapons are planned to be supplied to Russia's ground forces until 2010, Nikolai Kormiltsev, commander-in-chief of ground forces, told journalists. "Unfortunately, we cannot purchase new types of equipment and arms at present and this, I think, will be so until 2010. Sums involved are too big and the state does not have them now," the general emphasised. At the same time he said that the main efforts will be focused on repairs and modernisation of existing arms and equipment. "The equipment used by troops is in many ways as good as the best models in the world. The first priority is to equip military hardware and arms with advanced systems of command and control and means of communications," the general pointed out. The commander said that a board meeting of the Russian Defence Ministry on Tuesday, December 25, examined the basic parameters of the country's military budget for 2002, in which 28 per cent is earmarked for ground forces. "Numerically ground forces make up 40 per cent of all Russia's armed forces, and so we would like to have in the future 40 and even 50 per cent of the budget," Kormiltsev noted.