Russian President Medvedev Talks of Arms Imports


Russian government will continue to appropriate considerable funds for arms procurement, but foreign weapons won’t be purchased in series, reported Interfax referring to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. According to him, arms would be imported just “to understand what foreign armies are equipped with”.

“We will buy foreign weapons, but in quite limited volumes, singular samples, just to understand what foreign armies are equipped with, and to stimulate production of national weapons”, said the president adding that Russia had made considerable progress in fitting out its armed forces. Medvedev explained the need of rapid modernization by the fact that “the junk we have in inventory is sometimes even hard to actuate, not to speak of combat use”.

At present, Russia implements State Arms Program 2011-2020 which amount of financing is evaluated as RUR 23 trillions. In particular, the document provides procurement of four French Mistral-class assault landing ships. Russia explained procurement of such ships by the need to acquire up-to-date technologies including modular assemblage.

Besides, Russian defense ministry had earlier procured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from Israeli company IAI to the amount of about $200 mln, and tied a $300-mln delivery contract for UAV components. In addition, defense ministry signed agreements on delivery of Italian armored vehicles Iveco LMV Lynx and German armor Rheinmetall. The military agency believes that technology acquired by such procurements would significantly improve quality and capabilities of new Russian arms.

Chief of Russian General Staff Gen Nikolai Makarov said on Nov 17, 2011 that some Russian weapon systems yielded to best foreign analogs as of performance characteristics. To justify his statement, Makarov compared Russian main battle tank T-90 with Israeli Merkava MK4, and Smerch multiple launch rocket system with American HIMARS. As for him, firing range of T-90 and Smerch is far less than foreign analogs’ ones.

Naval Today Staff, November 23, 2011;