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Moscow to spend over $720 bln on new military aircraft

Published time: August 12, 2012 03:58
Edited time: August 12, 2012 07:58
Serviceman of the Baltic fleet marines' reconnaissance group setting a Grusha unmanned air vehicle in flight at the Khmelevka military range, the testing grounds for air drones (RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo)

Serviceman of the Baltic fleet marines' reconnaissance group setting a Grusha unmanned air vehicle in flight at the Khmelevka military range, the testing grounds for air drones (RIA Novosti / Igor Zarembo)

Russia’s air force will get 1,600 new warplanes and choppers by 2020, announced President Vladimir Putin. The program will cost Moscow some US $723 billion.

­“We are talking primarily about providing our forces with state-of-the-art modern technology,” Putin said at an air show in the Moscow Region ahead of the 100th anniversary of the country's air force. “Over 600 new warplanes and 1,000 helicopters will come into service by 2020 – not mentioning the upgrade to already existing systems.”

Putin thanked industry workers and officers for helping the aviation “endure the difficult times of the 1990’s and early 2000’s.” He also added that the role of a strengthened air force in Russia’s armed forces will be increasing.

The renovation will primarily cover the long-range strategic aviation, tactical aviation, army air force, combined with the introduction of high-precision armament, electronic warfare defense systems, and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft systems.

Speaking at the air show, Putin pointed out that much of this planned work has already begun.

The Russian military faced tremendous spending cuts in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. During his presidential campaign, Putin defined the strengthening of the country’s military as one of his primary goals.

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