has put over three dozen new weapons systems into service this year. Some are
long delayed Cold War era projects, that were revived in the last few years.
Russian finances are in great shape because of the much higher prices for oil
and natural gas. A lot of that money has been going into restoring the much diminished
armed forces. The new weapons include weapons and equipment for all branches of
the armed forces. Russia is striving to have a modernized military, for they
could never afford to go back to the days of the Soviet Union (which dissolved
in 1991), when the armed forces had five times as many troops (over five
million) and dibs on over ten percent of the national GNP (no one is sure of
the exact amount, as the communists were not big fans of accountants and
accurate financial reporting.) Currently, Russia is playing by West European
rules when it comes to military spending, meaning no more than three percent of
GDP is going to the military. With a $1.7 trillion dollar economy, growing at 7
percent a year, the generals can expect a lot more cash to work with.