Russian defense spending to grow 20% in 2008, to $40 bln

February, 2008

Russia's Defense Ministry will spend around one trillion rubles ($40 bln) of federal budget funds in 2008, 20% more than in 2007, a ministry official said on Tuesday. "The Defense Ministry will spend a little less than one trillion rubles in 2008, which is about 20% more than last year," Deputy Defense Minister Lyubov Kudelina said. She also said that in 2008-10, military spending would account for 15.5-16% of aggregate federal budget expenditure. She said most of the funds would be spent on the maintenance of the armed forces, the procurement and repair of military hardware, scientific and research work, and construction. The official did not say how much would be spent this year on the procurement of new military hardware, but last year's figure was over 300 billion rubles ($12 billion), 20% higher than in 2006. Russia has downsized its Armed Forces to about 1.1 million personnel, but military spending has increased dramatically under President Putin. Defense spending is set to total 1.18 trillion rubles ($45 billion) by 2010.


Ivanov Promised to Discard 90 Percent of Combat and Transport Aircraft

Ivanov Promised to Discard 90 Percent of Combat and Transport Aircraft Over 90 percent of Russia’s combat and transport jets will be discarded by 2015, said First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, emphasizing the obsolete nature of the country's transport aircraft fleet, RIA Novosti reported. The transport planes that are at disposal of the RF Air Force have become obsolete “both physically and morally,” the first deputy prime minister said, blaming it on the low rates of new aircraft development and on reduction in supplies of existing jets. The situation with civil cargo aircraft isn’t much better, Ivanov pointed out. When touching upon the methods to renew the jet fleet, Ivanov said that the money has been appropriated “to transfer Il-76 drawings into the digital format.” The planes will be made at Voronezh and Ulyanovsk aircraft construction plants. What’s more, researchers of Russia and India are jointly designing a new multifunctional transport jet, Ivanov specified.


Russian rocket forces plan 11 launches in 2008

Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces plan to make 11 training and testing launches in 2008, a senior official said on Wednesday. "We plan to make 11 training and testing launches of strategic missiles in 2008, including from the Yasnino missile unit grounds with a payload to be put into orbit," the commander-in-chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces, Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying. "The RS-12M, RS-18, and RS-20 launches are planned for 2008 to extend the service life of missiles, two launches as part of state RS-24 testing, three launches to confirm the reliability of ICBMs that have been removed from combat duty, with spacecraft to be simultaneous put into orbit, and one launch to test future missile hardware," he said. "A program tentatively called Dnepr is underway now owing to the heavy RS-20 ICBMs. RS-20 rockets are launched both from Baikonur and the pilot and testing base of the Yasnino unit through close collaboration between military specialists and Russian and Ukrainian enterprises. The international space corporation Kosmotras headed by Director General Vladimir Andreyevis responsible for this work," Solovtsov said.


Russia's RS-24 ICBM to enter service in 2009 - SMF commander

A new intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple warheads is due to enter service with Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) next year, the SMF commander said on Wednesday. The RS-24 is a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile, which is equipped with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warhead, was first tested on May 29, 2007 after a secret military R&D project, and then again on December 25, 2007. "The RS-24 ICBM will enter service in 2009," Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said adding that two more test launches of RS-24 are planned for this year from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia. The high-ranking official also said that in total Russia plans to carry out 11 test and military training ICBM launches in 2008. The RS-24 ICBM, which will replace the older SS-18 and SS-19 missiles by 2050, is expected to greatly strengthen the SMF's strike capability and Russia's nuclear deterrent, as well as that of its allies until the mid-21st century. The SMF commander earlier said that new missile systems will enable the force to infiltrate any missile defense systems, even those that have not yet been established. He also said Russia is putting an average of three mobile and three or four fixed-site missile launching systems into operation every year, and that Russia would double its test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles after


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