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US right to expect Russian ‘progress’ in air defense, subs & electronic warfare in 2019

US right to expect Russian ‘progress’ in air defense, subs & electronic warfare in 2019
US intelligence chief Daniel Coats was not mistaken to say that Russia will keep modernizing its military this year, an expert told RT, expanding on the country’s newest developments in air defense, submarines and electronics.

The US Director of National Intelligence shared his assessments of Russia’s military capabilities with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Despite its defense budget decreasing to 3.8 percent of GDP in 2019, Russia will “continue to modernize the entire military but particularly will make progress in its air defense, submarine, and electronic warfare capabilities,” Coats said.

“There’s no doubt that Russia occupies the leading position in the world when it comes to anti-aircraft missile defense systems,” Mikhail Khodarenok, military expert and retired colonel who served in Russian missile defense forces, told RT.

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Serial production of the state-of-the-art S-350 Vityaz and S-500 Prometey missile systems will “begin shortly,” Khodarenok said. Trials of the A-235 PL-19 Nudol advanced anti-ballistic missile system, which has anti-satellite capability, are also going “extremely well, according to the developers,” he added.

Nudol, which was initially designed to counter a nuclear attack against Moscow, surpasses the currently used A-135 system due to its high mobility and an option to use conventional warheads, among other things.

As for Russia’s submarine fleet, the Navy will receive the K-549 Knyaz Vladimir ballistic missile sub in 2019. It is the first of the new Project 955A, or Borei II-class, that boasts “significantly improved technical and tactical characteristics,” compared to the previous Project 955, including a reduced acoustic signature and modern communication equipment, Khodarenok said.

The testing of the K-561 Kazan nuclear attack sub are also under way, with “a whole series of submarines of the same [Project A885M, Yasen] class currently in production.”

 Russia also has “very strong positions” when it comes to electronic warfare, the expert pointed out. “For decades, the US had been fighting against obviously weaker opponents and sophisticated equipment just wasn’t required, while Russia systematically and purposefully developed electronic weapons and achieved impressive results that are recognized even by our rivals.”

Only last year, 19 sophisticated systems of electronic warfare, both air- and ground-based, had been developed for the Russian Armed Forces, Khodarenok said.

However, he corrected Coats on the amount of Russian military budget, saying that “it’s gradually decreasing and now stands at around 3 percent of GDP.”

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