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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

First 2 Russian Student Military R&D Units Begin Service

RIA Novosti

14:30 09/07/2013 MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s first two military research units made up of science students have taken up their posts, a Moscow college chief said on Tuesday.

The units, made up of several dozen students from the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, and other technical colleges and universities, have been deployed in Moscow Region and the city of Voronezh, Bauman University’s first deputy rector Boris Padalkin said.

Demand for such specialists is strong and the number of such units is likely to increase, Padalkin said.

The idea of military scientific research units was first proposed in March by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who suggested that initially the time spent by undergraduate students in defense R&D projects could count toward their mandatory one-year military service.

Last Thursday he said his ministry was starting a wide-ranging “head hunt” for young computer programmers to develop new software for the armed forces, and must spend more money on scientific units, which he extolled as “incubators for naval and aerospace enterprises.”

Russia's defense industry has suffered a serious loss of skilled middle-age staff due to poor wages in the sector in the last two decades. In June, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the sector, said measures to stop the loss of workers in Russia’s defense industry were starting to take effect.

“Grounds for optimism have appeared. The drain of staff from the sector has practically ceased,” he told a meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission. “Now, almost a third of the defence sector workforce is under 35.”

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