Russia’s Vice Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov, who administers defense industry issues, stated that the new state-run arms program from 2011 to 2020 stipulated a complete re-equipment of Russia’s strategic forces.
“The whole of Russia’s satellite fleet will be replaced with more modern spacecraft. The single information space of the action scene will be created. Of course, Russia will switch to absolutely new, intellectual arms and defense technologies,” the minister said in an interview with The Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
Such a large defense order, the minister said, would also give a chance to many other branches of the Russian economy to survive during the time of the crisis. The defense industry employs over 1.5 million people, the official said. “The state defense order is the most effective anti-crisis measure,” he added.
The use of the new arms in the state-run program particularly stipulates the use of nanotechnologies. Sergey Ivanov specified that Russia’s renowned Sukhoi design bureau has already developed samples of nano-structured materials. “This is not science fiction anymore, this is real,” the vice minister said.
In the meantime, the administration of Barack Obama is cutting the defense budget of the United States for the first time since 2001 – from $515 billion in 2008 to $487 billion in 2009. Several senators and congressmen urge Obama to additionally cut the defense spending in the future with a reduction of 20-25 percent.
France plans to cut its national defense spending from 36 billion euros ($50 billion) to 35.5 billion euros. The reduction will affect the purchase of arms. The United States, for instance, plans to decrease the purchase of F-22 Raptor jets from 183 to 165 planes. Experts do not exclude that the orders for another fifth generation aircraft – F-35 – will be reduced as well.
Russia possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the world. Russia declared an arsenal of 40,000 tons of chemical weapons in 1997 and is said to have had around 6681 nuclear weapons stockpiled in 2005, making its stockpile the largest in the world.
Russia was estimated to have around 6,681 active strategic nuclear warheads in its arsenal. Russia also has a large but unknown number of tactical nuclear weapons.
Strategic nuclear forces of Russia include:
Land based Strategic Rocket Forces: 489 missiles carrying up to 1,788 warheads; they employ immobile (silos), like SS-18 Satan, and mobile delivery systems, like SS-27 Topol M. Sea based Strategic Fleet: 12 submarines carrying up to 609 warheads; they employ delivery systems like SS-N-30 Bulava. Strategic Aviation: 237 bombers(16 Tu-160,63 Tu-95,and 158 Tu-22m) carrying up to 884 Cruise missiles.
The Russian forces destroyed a column of NATO armoured vehicles that had been delivered to the Ukrainian army.