Russia Needs 36 Trillion Rubles To Rebuild Armed Forces

Financing of the state armament program through 2020 may be increased. The final numbers will be released by June 17, said Anton Seluyanov, deputy finance minister of the Russian Federation, during parliamentary hearings in the State Duma. It was expected that 13 trillion rubles will be allocated for purchasing arms; however, the Defense Ministry insists it needs 36 trillion rubles.

The armament program for 2011-2020 is to be presented to the Military and industrial committee by the end of the month. A heated discussion regarding the volumes of the program financing took place at the parliamentary hearings.

According to Oleg Frolov, the armament director of the Russian Armed Forces, it will take 36 trillion rubles to completely rebuild Russian armed forces.

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"If we consider the limit of 13 trillion rubles, we will be able to implement the decision of the government to maintain strategic nuclear forces at a decent level and will be investing money into air force and aviation development. Unfortunately, this limit will not be able to finance grounds forces, and they will not have much contemporary equipment,” Frolov told Interfax.

The general stated that 28 trillion rubles “will be sufficient to implement all the tasks regarding strategic nuclear forces and grounds forces.”

He said the specifics of price building in military equipment sector create additional issues and expenses. Manufacturers include all imaginary expenses in the price and it makes the initial price go up several times during the production. Frolov thinks it is necessary to transfer price building function to the Ministry of Commerce or Federal Tariffs service.

Vladislav Putilin, first deputy chair of the committee said there were no grounds for concerns, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports.

Despite adequate funding of defense in recent years, the efficiency of spending remains extremely low. The state defense order for 2009 is fulfilled only by 50%.

“The estimate of defense order implementation made by the Audit Chamber based on comparing the nomenclature and scope of completed work revealed that the state defense order is completed by 41.9% in terms of nomenclature, and by 64.9% in terms of scope of completed work", RIA Novosti reports.

The lowest indicators were in fundamental and forecast research aimed at defense and country security - 14.3% and 48.3% respectively. This indicates that the military and industrial sector is not capable of providing the army, has low level of military science and possible “holes” in the Ministry of Defense whose expenses are kept secret.

The results of the research conducted by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show that the financial crisis has not reduced the military expenses in 2009. This situation is explained by unwillingness of the government to reduce the number of workers in the defense sector. The US spent the largest amount of money for arms.

Military spending in the world in 2009 was $1,531 trillion, which is 5.9% more compared to 2008 and 49% more compared to 2000, says SIPRI Yearbook 2010.

The US military expenses were $661 billion, which is 43% more than a year earlier. The US spends 54% of the total world expense.

It looks like the Russian Defense Ministry considers these numbers while planning its expenses for arms. It often makes statements about purchasing certain types of arms abroad, which is not cheap. Most likely, the negotiators will settle somewhere in the middle.

Last year Russia was number 5 among the leading countries in terms of military expenses. In 2009 it spent $53 billion, which is 3.5% more than a year earlier.

Sergey Nikolaev

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov