Russian economic woes won't derail arms upgrade: Putin
Iran Press TV
Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:37AM
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that budget cuts prompted by Russia's economic difficulties will not impact Moscow's military modernization plans.
He made the remarks during an address to Russia's top military authorities as well as top executives of the country's arms industries.
Putin said the military received hundreds of new warplanes, missiles and armored vehicles last year as part of the Kremlin's weapons upgrade program.
He also revealed that in the past year, the Russian military had received 96 new aircraft, 81 helicopters, 152 air defense systems, 291 radars as well as over 400 armored vehicles and artillery systems.
Putin said Russian defense industries have significantly reduced their dependence on imports, but continue to remain reliant on some foreign-manufactured parts.
He called on arms industry executives to adopt swifter measures to develop the production of locally-made substitutes.
Putin also emphasized that the value of new Russian armaments were highlighted during its military's aerial campaign against terrorists throughout Syria.
According to Putin, while Russia's weapon makers honored most of their contracts, some were not fulfilled on time.
Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov confirmed during the meeting that weapon plants have failed to meet delivery deadlines on 15 warplanes, eight navy ships and 240 armored vehicles among other arms systems.
He also said Western sanctions on the sale of armaments and related technologies to Moscow as well as Ukraine's decision to halt its military industrial cooperation with Russia "had no significant impact" on Russian arms production.
The development came as Russia announced a decision to disarm the nuclear missile system of its Typhoon-class Arkhangelsk submarine – the world's largest – in accordance with the New START treaty between Moscow and Washington.
Russia's Zvezdochka shipyard in the northern city of Severodvinsk declared its plan to disarm the missile system on the huge submarine in a Friday statement cited.
"We will remove the covers of the submarine's missile launchers and seal them, thus making it impossible to use the vessel's missile weapons," read the press statement.
"We are not talking yet about dismantling the submarine itself. The tender for this procedure has not yet been announced."
According to the data released by the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, the disarmament effort is estimated to cost nearly 400,000 US dollars.
The New START treaty, devised to reduce American and Russian nuclear stockpiles, came into force in 2011. It replaced the previous 1991 agreement, introducing lower ceilings for the numbers of warheads and delivery systems deployed.
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