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26 Nov, 2022 00:23

Putin sets priorities for Russian defense industry

Ukraine's reliance on Western arms presents an opportunity for Moscow, president insists
Putin sets priorities for Russian defense industry

Russian defense giant Rostec plays a key role in ensuring the country's “technological sovereignty,” but needs to take advantage of real combat experience in countering Western weapons in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

Rostec has been responsible for the development, production, and export of high-tech products, not only for the military but for civilian use as well, Putin noted at a reception celebrating the conglomerate’s 15th anniversary.

“The experience that we have gained in the course of conducting the special operation [in Ukraine] and countering modern Western models of military equipment is very good and needs to be used to improve the quality, reliability, and combat characteristics of some types of our domestically produced weapons,” the president explained.

Putin said the “number one” task right now is to do everything to fully deliver on the needs of the military, in particular “every company and platoon deployed in the special military operation.”

Heightened military production should also provide an impetus for related civilian industries, he said, while internal competition between development bureaus should pave the way to making the best models of equipment that has already shown its value in combat.

The 2007 decision to establish a “powerful industrial flagship” turned out to be fully justified, Putin said. Rostec currently consists of some 700 subsidiaries, which employ over 450,000 people. 

Responding to claims by some analysts that Russia was running out of weapons and ammunition, former President – and current deputy chair of the national security council – Dmitry Medvedev said last month that the West “shouldn’t hold its breath.” Factories are working round-the-clock to turn out tanks, guns, missiles, and drones, he added.

Meanwhile, Kiev relies mainly on supplies delivered by the US and its allies. Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov described his country last month as a “proving ground” where Western countries can see which of their weapons perform the best against Russian troops, “like a competition.”

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg admitted to CNN in September that the bloc’s members had significantly depleted their own weapons stockpiles by sending arms and ammunition to Ukraine, and called for military production to be boosted.