Putin Calls for New Ground Forces Equipment

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the country’s arms designers and manufacturers on Tuesday to begin work on new small arms, body armor and communications equipment for the infantry and airborne forces.

“We need new solutions for equipping our soldiers, for small arms, individual communications and body armor,” Putin said at a meeting in Sochi on the theme of the State Armaments Program and Infantry and Airborne Forces. “I call on you to start design and research work in these fields,” he added.

Putin noted that research and development for the ground forces accounted for just ten percent of their equipment budget.

“And for the airborne forces its less than five percent,” Putin said. “At the same time, over 75 percent of the total finance goes to five research projects. That is a huge disbalance. This means that there are many important areas of armament development and military equipment which go without vital funding,” he said.

Putin said nine S-300 air defense missile systems must enter service with the Army by 2020.

“Ten Iskander-M tactical missile launchers, nine S-300V4 air defense missile systems, more than 2,300 tanks, about 2,000 self-propelled artillery systems and mobile guns, as well as more than 30,000 vehicles must enter service with the Russian Army,” Putin said.

“Beyond that, the deployment of new control and communication systems, advanced reconnaissance systems and military equipment is planned,” the president said.

By 2020, the government will spend over 2.6 trillion rubles ($79.8 billion) to arm the Airborne Forces and the Army, Putin continued. The overall value of the national rearmament program will reach 20 trillion rubles ($614 billion).

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