Russia’s 2016-2025 State Armament Programme
by Olivia Kroth
With the new Russian State Armament Programme, national defence expenditure in the Russian budget will increase by 33 percent, to 3.287 trillion roubles in 2015. It will continue to be increased gradually from 2016 to 2025, as KOMMERSANT reported. In addition, Russian-made materials and arms production shall substitute foreign imports in the defence sector.
In 2011, the Russian defence spending amounted to 2.8 percent of GDP. It will rise to 3.8 percent by 2016. The increase in defence spending from 2016 to 2025 will be part of a large-scale rearmament programme worth 20 trillion roubles (RUSSIA & INDIA REPORT, 13.10.2014).
Meeting in the Kremlin
In July 2014, a meeting in the Kremlin took place between the Russian President, Security Council and representatives of Russia’s defence industry to discuss important replacement. In his opening speech, President Vladimir Putin said that rapid introduction and maximum use of Russian-made materials and spare parts in special equipment and arms production was needed to replace foreign imports.
“These are key matters for our military and economic security and for our technological production independence. Our task is to protect ourselves against the risk of foreign partners not performing their contractual obligations. We must ensure reliable and timely supplies of the needed parts and components, with strict quality control”, Vladimir Putin said.
The President’s announcement also refers to changes in the production of Russia’s Mi-38 helicopters. Their Canadian engines will soon be replaced by Russian-made products. Mi-38 is designed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and produced by Kazan Helicopters. Both firms belong to the Russian Helicopter Group. Mi-38 absolved its test flight successfully, on the 29th of November 2013. Its Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127 turboshaft engines will be substitued by Russian Klimov TV7-117V, in the near future (FLIEGER REVUE, 02/2014, page 7).
Oleg Panteleyev, Head of Aviaport, thinks that “the Russian TV7-117V turboshaft engines will greatly improve the potential of Mi-38 helicopters and their attractiveness on the global markets”. Production of the Russian-made TV7-117V is due to begin at the end of 2014. Serial production will start in 2015 (RUSSIA & INDIA REPORT, 30.05.2014).
Russia’s Military-Industrial Commission
In another meeting at the Kremlin, on the 10th of September 2014, President Vladimir Putin informed the Security Council of changes in the status of the Military-Industrial Commission. The President will head this commission himself. Vladimir Putin pointed out that the 2016-2025 State Armament Programme was already the fifth big state programme of this sort in the last 20 years: “We have established an effective programme that makes it possible to substantially increase our defence and security agencies’ combat and technical capability.” The Russian President explained that the next task would be to ensure steady growth and modernization of the entire defence sector.
Dangers for Russia’s security
At the meeting, the Russian President enumerated the greatest dangers for Russia’s security, first of all, the United States of America. They “withdrew from the ABM Treaty a few years ago and are now busy building missile defence systems in Europe and Alaska”, close to Russian borders. Furthermore, “they are working on the theory of the so-called prompt global strike”. Another danger is the militarisation of outer space. A third danger is Nato placing its troops along Russian borders in Eastern Europe and provoking the Ukraine crisis.
Consequences for Russia’s Defence
Russia has no other choice but taking countermeasures. The Russian President explained at the meeting in the Kremlin that “we will need to do everything possible to make sure that we have reliable and guaranteed security”. These countermeasures are going to be “a rational range of attack systems, including a nuclear deterrent; modernized strategic and long-range aviation; developing an aerospace defence system; components of high-precision weapons; providing the Navy with new ships that are universal with regard to weapons, command and communications systems”.
President Putin expressed his confidence that all of these aims could be reached: “I am confident because we do have a well-developed defence industry, good personnel with the required expertise, and we have kept all that we inherited from earlier days and modernized much of it substantially, too.”
Russian missile cruiser Varyag
The Russian Federation will need to use all of its available resources to guarantee the safety and security of its citizens.
Olivia Kroth: The journalist and author of four books lives in Southern France. Her blog: