Russian Air Force to get 60 air defense systems in 2012

The Russian Air Force is planning to acquire about 60 new and modernized air defense systems in 2012, Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Thursday.

“The new acquisitions include S-400 long-range air defense missile systems, Nebo-U radars and Pantsir-S1 short range missile/gun systems,” Drik said.

The Air Force will receive up to 10 Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers, about 10 Su-25SM Frogfoot attack fighters, and an unspecified number of Su-35S Flanker-E multirole fighters.

The Su-35S is Russia’s advanced “Generation 4++” fighter.

New acquisitions will also include over 20 attack helicopters, such as the Mi-28N Night Hunter and the Ka-52 Alligator, as well as “highly modernized” Mi-35 Hind helicopters.

The Air Force will also receive about 30 Mi-8 transport and five Mi-26T heavy lift helicopters.


Russia’s Baltic radar to monitor missile launches across Europe, Atlantic

Russia’s radar station in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad will monitor missile launches from the North Atlantic, as well as the future European missile defense system, the Aerospace Defense Forces chief said on Friday.

“We will be able to control the entire European continent and the Atlantic, including the European missile defense system,” Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said.

The radar station is ready to go into operation as part of the national missile early warning attack system, he said.

In addition, Iskander tactical missiles will be deployed in the Kaliningrad region “in the near future,” the general said.

Russia’s air defense system will have the capability to intercept any type of missiles, any targets at any speed, including hypersonic ones, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Tuesday.


The new system, comprising air defense, missile defense, missile early warning attack and space control systems, should be up and running by December 1.


Ostapenko’s remarks come after President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia would move “advanced offensive weapon systems” to its European borders in response to a planned U.S.-backed NATO missile shield if talks on the project fail.


Moscow is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the shield will not be directed against it. Washington, however, has refused to put its verbal assurances in writing.


Washington responded by saying it would not alter its plans for a European missile defense project, despite increasingly tough rhetoric from Moscow.


Russian air defenses can counter ‘even hypersonic missiles’

Russia’s air defense system will have the capability to intercept any type of missiles, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Tuesday.

“The integration of [aerospace defense] systems will make it possible to intercept any targets at any speed, including hypersonic ones,” he said.

The new system should be up and running by December 1, he said, adding that it will comprise “air defense, missile defense, missile early warning attack and space control systems.”

Serdyukov’s remarks come shortly after the U.S. Army conducted the first flight test of a new weapon concept designed to fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range.

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command launched the Advance Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), “a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle,” on November 16 from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

The DoD said it is using AHW to develop and demonstrate technologies for Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS).


WTO to Accept Russia As Its Newest Member

WTO to Accept Russia As Its Newest Member

Published: November 16, 2011 (Issue # 1683)

MOSCOW — The “reset” between Russia and the United States appeared to be in full force at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, held in Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, over the weekend.

Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama, who may be meeting for the last time as presidents with elections in both countries coming up next year, praised each other and discussed further cooperation.

Obama has done more than any other American leader to help Russia enter the World Trade Organization, Medvedev said, according to news reports. Russia is ready to join the WTO, and Obama is “enthusiastic” about the country’s likely upcoming entry, Medvedev told a news conference after the private meeting between the leaders.

The United States agreed to let Russia join the WTO after a dispute with Georgia was recently resolved, Obama said last week, Bloomberg reported.

“Russia’s membership in the WTO will lower tariffs, improve international access to Russia’s services markets, hold the Russian government accountable to a system of rules governing trade behavior, and provide the means to enforce those rules,” Obama said, Bloomberg reported.

Accession to the WTO will strengthen Russia’s economy and bring it closer to international standards, Medvedev said.

“We will have to go through development,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev and Obama discussed cooperation on a response to the nuclear threat from Iran, as well as a way to try to negotiate with the country to contain that threat, on the sidelines of the conference.

But NATO plans for a defense missile shield in Eastern Europe slated to be built by 2018 could derail the U.S.-Russian “reset.” The United States said the anti-missile system is necessary as a means of defense from Iran, Afghanistan and other “rogue” states, while Russia argued that the anti-missile system is also aimed at them. Russia has asked for participation in developing the shield, but the request has been denied by NATO.

“Concerning this issue, we have agreed to continue searching for possible solutions, taking into account that our positions are still far away from each other,” Medvedev said Saturday.

Negotiations to supply gas to China are currently under way, Medvedev said. Russia’s gas trade with Europe is valued at $250 billion annually. China and Asia-Pacific hold great potential to provide at least the same volume of trade, Medvedev said.

A gas pipeline between Russia and China has been in the works for nearly five years, but stalled recently since the two sides have failed to agree on pricing.

APEC will be hosted in Vladivostok next year.

Russia demonstrates its best combat aircraft at Dubai airshow

Russia will demonstrate its most advanced combat aircraft and air defense systems at a major airshow in the Middle East, which started on Sunday.

The Dubai Airshow will be held on November 13-17 in the United Arab Emirates. The Airport Expo complex in Dubai is expected to host about 1,000 exhibitors from 50 countries which will showcase their products to more than 55,000 guests and visitors.

Visitors at the show “will be presented advanced products of the Russian aerospace industry, such as the Su-35 and MiG-29M/MiG-29M2 multifunctional fighters, Yak-130 combat trainer, and Be-200 amphibious aircraft,” Russian state arms seller Rosoboronexport said in a statement on Friday.

The Russian exhibit will also feature a variety of military helicopters, such as the famed Mi-171 transport helicopters, Ka-52 and Mi-28NE attack helicopters and the Mi-26T – the world’s heaviest-lift helicopter.

Air defense equipment will be represented by the S-300VM, Tor-M2E and Buk-M2E air defense missile systems, Tunguska-M1 and Pantsir-S1 air defense gun/missile systems, Igla-S man-portable air defense system, radars, electronic warfare equipment, command, control and communication systems.

Russia has firmly established itself as the world’s second largest arms exporter after the United States. Combat aircraft account for almost half of all foreign sales by Rosoboronexport.


Russia invites Japan to jointly develop Kuril Islands

Russia is ready to join efforts with Japan in the development of the economy of the Southern Kuril Islands, President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

“We are prepared for the joint use of the islands, to offer opportunities for investment, to protect Japanese investment and create conditions for doing business. We are ready to do it right now,” Medvedev said during a meeting with the media in the city of Khabarovsk.

The president noted that Moscow had repeatedly voiced this proposal to Tokyo. However, the Japanese side advocates a different approach. They insist that the two countries should first solve their sovereignty dispute over the Southern Kurils (known as the Northern Territories by the Japanese), and only then should they invest.

“It won’t do,” Medvedev stressed.

Meanwhile, Russia has no objection to other countries – including China or South Korea – developing businesses on the islands, since investment inflow is a key priority for the region.

In February, the Russian leader ordered the deployment of weaponry on the group of Pacific Ocean islands. Russian troops deployed in the region have already received air defense missile systems, heavy weaponry and communications technology which are to be further upgraded.

Commenting on the matter, Medvedev underlined that a stronger defense capability and security on the Southern Kurils is not targeted against Japan or any other third country.

“This is just our land and military forces should be deployed there since this is the border,” he said. Such forces should be “reasonable and sufficient” and “no-one should consider it as some militaristic action.”

The Southern Kurils – comprising the islands of Kunashir, Shikotan, the Khabomai Rocks and Iturup – fell under Soviet control after WW2 and have since been considered Russian territory. Tokyo, however, insists that the four islands of the archipelago belong to them.