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18 Dec, 2017 20:08

Nukes and tanks a priority for Russian defense procurement next decade – report

Nukes and tanks a priority for Russian defense procurement next decade – report

This week the Russian Defense Ministry is expected to report finalizing its plan for materiel procurement until 2027, with the nuclear arsenal, precision weapons and Army hardware said to be prioritized.

A decade-long plan for military procurement was supposed to be passed in 2016, but was delayed due to economic uncertainty. According to a source in the presidential administration cited by the Kommersant daily, the government decided not to wait any longer for stabilization that is nowhere to be seen.

The Russian Defense Ministry will get $324 billion for procurement under the program, compared to just $51 billion given to the rest of the Russian law enforcement and intelligence services combined. The spending would be more balanced between arms of the Russian military service compared to 2011-2020 plan, which had prioritized the Navy over the Army.

The report says the Russian military would focus on upgrading the national nuclear arsenal, researching future weapon systems like hypersonic missiles and bringing the Army hardware up to date. The latter will receive new air defense systems and modern armor like T-90 and T-14 main battle tanks or Kurganetsh infantry fighting vehicles. Arctic-compatible equipment will also be high on the shopping list.

The nuclear arsenal will see an upgrade of air-launched cruise missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and ground-launched ICBMs. The Defense Ministry is expected to approve the RS-26 Rubezh ballistic missile and the RS-28 Sarmat hypersonic-tipped missile for active service.

READ MORE: Delicate job: Russian Yars ICBM loaded into underground shaft (VIDEO)

The Russian Air and Space Forces are to purchase more Su-30SM and Su-35 multipurpose fighter jets and Su-34 ground attack jets. The fifth-gen Su-57 jet is expected to finally complete trial stage. Another expected newcomer is the Mig-35. Long-range aviation is to get several Tu-160M2 strategic bombers.

The air defense forces are expected to receive their first S-500 Prometey batteries next decade as well as Buk-M3 systems.

READ MORE: Nuclear-capable Russian Tu-95 bombers in 1st-ever Pacific patrol from Indonesia (VIDEO)

The Navy will get budget money for developing a dozen new ship designs under the spending plan. The priority in shipbuilding will be given to advanced littoral defense ships armed with precision missiles, particularly frigates carrying Kalibr-NK missiles, the report says. Russia will also invest into designing Hkaski-class nuclear-propelled attack submarines, which are expected to be built in two variants: one to fight enemy submarines and one to destroy surface vessels.