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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian defense industry on track for arms contract

RIA Novosti

14:2917/06/2009 MOSCOW, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Defense Ministry has received three strategic missiles, 20 combat aircraft, 20 tanks, three spacecraft and other military hardware since the beginning of the year under government defense contract, a senior military official said on Wednesday.

"Under government defense contracts, we have taken delivery of eight Su-27 Flanker fighters, 12 MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, 12 antiradar missiles, one Soyuz space rocket carrier, two spacecraft, three strategic missiles, 21 surface-to-air missiles, 20 tanks, over 100 armored vehicles and some 2,000 trucks, mainly KamAZ and Urals," said Vladimir Popovkin, a deputy defense minister and head of arms procurements.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said earlier this month that Russia's defense-related sectors increased production by 2.5% in the first quarter, year-on-year.

Ivanov, who oversees the defense industry as part of his Cabinet tasks, said that defense contracts in 2011-12 would be funded at the same level as in 2009, adding that by then Russia would be in a position to commence full-scale production of new weapons.

Some 1.3 trillion rubles ($41.7 billion) will be spent on arms production this year and a total of 4 trillion rubles ($128 billion) in the 2009-11 period.

A federal official said in late May that Russia's foreign defense orders totaled $35 billion.

Alexander Fomin, first deputy director of the Federal Service for Military Cooperation, which regulates Russia's cooperation in the military and technical sphere with other countries, said the Russian defense industry had effectively "reached its ceiling" and could not take on any more orders.

Fomin said contracts signed for some weapon systems, especially long-range air-defense systems, stretched years into the future.

Sergei Chemezov, head of the state-run Russian Technology Corporation, said in February that the orders would provide domestic defense industry firms with contracts to keep them going for the next four to five years.

Russia's defense industry currently employs 2.5-3 million workers, or 20% of manufacturing jobs.

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