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25 Dec, 2023 12:01

Russia’s weapons industry outproducing West – deputy PM

The rate of fulfilling defense orders has reached 98%, a record high in the country’s modern history, Denis Manturov has said
Russia’s weapons industry outproducing West – deputy PM

Russia is outpacing Western countries in arms production despite the latter’s push to provide military support to Ukraine, Russian Deputy PM and Trade Minister Denis Manturov has said.

In a wide-ranging interview with RIA Novosti on Monday, Manturov offered a glimpse into the state of Russia’s defense industry, which has switched into a high gear to support the military as the Ukraine conflict is about to enter its third year.

According to the minister, Russia’s military factories have increased output and delivery rates by 10-12 times for certain categories of materiel and hardware. “Trust me, the numbers are huge,” he assured, although he declined to go into specifics, citing “certain nuances.” 

“I don’t want to boast but I can say that we have started picking up the pace in production and we accomplished that earlier than Western countries. How long this race will last – this is another question,” Manturov said, adding that Moscow has clear plans for future development.

Commenting on Western countries’ arms production plans, the minister declined to speculate whether they “will have enough juice” to keep up. “For the time being, we are outpacing them,” he added.

According to Manturov, Russia’s defense industry facilities have been operating smoothly, fulfilling at least 98% of all state orders. “This is a record, the highest level of fulfillment of state defense orders in the entire modern history of Russia,” he said, adding that total output has more than doubled compared to last year.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said earlier this month that Russia has managed to triple the production of armored units and double the production of aircraft, including drones, compared to last year. Last month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu also revealed that Moscow’s forces are receiving five times more artillery shells and missiles in 2023 than in 2022.

Meanwhile, in late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated that the country’s defense industry was producing three times more ammunition than Western backers could send to Ukraine.

He also said that the US was producing 14,000-15,000 artillery shells a month, with plans to increase this number to 42,000 by 2024. However, according to Putin, this was not enough to satisfy Ukraine’s needs as it is burning up to 5,000 shells each day.