Russia announced plans to spend
nearly $50 billion a year, over the next three years, in purchasing new weapons
and equipment for its ground forces. Russia plans to increase production of conventional weapons
30 percent over the next two years, and expects to more than double that by
2015. Much of the increase is for replacing 20-30 year old gear in the Russian
armed forces, which are still largely equipped with Cold War era stuff. We are
not talking large numbers here. Currently, Russia produces a few hundred
armored vehicles (including self-propelled artillery), and about a hundred
warplanes, a year. This is a fifth of what was produced annually during the
Cold War. Most of current production is for export.
for the Russian armed forces over the next three years will include 300 tanks,
14 warships (mostly smaller ships, for patrolling the coast), and over 40
fighters and bombers, 60 helicopters, six UAVs and 2,000 trucks. There are also
large purchases of new communications gear, missiles, and military electronics.
A lot of money still goes into updating nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
The war with
Georgia last August made it obvious to the world that the Russian Army had
little new equipment. The vehicles and weapons were Cold War vintage, and the
Russian troops had a ragtag air about them. It's going to take a decade of
heavy purchases of weapons and equipment before the Russian military losses
that 1980s look.