Russia To Assign Trillions for Strategic Nuclear and Ground Forces

The Russian government agreed to increase the funding of the state armaments program for 2011-2020 by 50%, from 13 trillion to 20 trillion rubles. Vladimir Popovkin, first Deputy Defense Minister, made this statement in English Farnborough. Additional funds will be allocated first and foremost for the purchase of aircrafts for the Russian army.

The state program of armaments with the new numbers may be accepted in the third quarter of this year. According to the official, a large-scale program aimed at the development of defense-industrial complex (DIC) must be approved along with the state program of armaments for 2011-2020 before 2020. “Both documents will be approved by the President this year,” said Popovkin. According to ITAR-TASS, without specifying the amount of funding for the development of DIC, he noted that”negotiations are ongoing with the Ministry of Finance.”

In June there were talks about 13 trillion rubles which the Government intended to allocate for the army and navy. As stated by Oleg Frolov, Lieutenant-General, then interim Chief of Armament of the Armed Forces, the Russian army required 36 trillion rubles for fundamental re-armament before 2020.

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“Given the allocated (by the state program of armaments - 2020 - IF) limit of 13 trillion rubles, we will be able to implement the decision of the country's leadership to maintain strategic nuclear forces at the proper level, and we will also invest in air defense and development of aviation. But, unfortunately, this limit of 13 trillion rubles will leave the ground forces underfunded, and the share of modern weapons in them will be low,” claimed Frolov.

According to the Lieutenant-General, the amount of 28 trillion rubles would be sufficient to perform all the tasks on the strategic nuclear forces and ground forces.”Taking into account the needs of shipbuilding and space groups, we need 36 trillion rubles,” said the general.

The increase in funding will allow procurement of 1,000 helicopters of various types, mostly, heavy transport helicopters. Ten advanced fighters of the fifth generation of T-50 (PAK FA) will be purchased between 2013 and 2015. Continuous purchase of new combat aircrafts is planned after 2016. In total , the state program specifies 60 such units .

Military transport aviation is given special attention, and 80 aircrafts will be purchased from Ukraine, including 20 AN-124 Ruslan and 60 aircrafts AN-70 of Ukrainian origin. The procurement plan also includes IL-112, IL-476 and upgraded Il-76MD and modernized military equipment for ground forces.

The main purpose of the state program, according to the military, is to bring the share of new technology to 70-80%. Currently this number is approximately 10%. Information regarding the plans to purchase certain types of weapons abroad, which is not cheap, appears on a regular basis. It is possible that a part of the increased state program has been already contracted.

The total cost of the state program for nine years will be approximately $670 billion, while the basic Pentagon budget for 2010 alone is $537 billion. However, this is total military spending, while the Pentagon has been conducting low intensity military actions in some regions of the world and maintaining a significant number of overseas bases.

There is a different issue. Despite of the fact that the defense complex in recent years has been receiving decent funding, cost-effectiveness remains extremely low. The state defense order for 2009 is only 50% completed, according to the materials of the Accounting Chamber.

“The assessment implemented by the Chamber regarding compliance with the state defense order, based on comparing the range and volume of work performed with those in the state defense order, showed that the state defense order for the year 2009 of the Russian Defense Ministry on the number of jobs (the nomenclature of R&D) was carried out at 41.9%, while the scope of work at 64.9%.”

Vitaly Salnyk

Read the original in Russian

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov