Defense Ministry prepares draft air and space defense concept
It was President Dmitry Medvedev who presented the Ministry of Defense with the task of creating a new structure in the Russian army. In his address to the Federal Assembly in November last year, he put forward its basic principles. The main idea is to unite the systems of air and missile defense, early warning, as well as space-control systems.The exact details have not been revealed so far due to confidentiality. It is already known, however, that the new army unit will be formed in the coming months and may be put on combat alert as soon as this December, according to Commander of Space Troops Valery Ivanov. “The main goal of space defense is to be alerted to the start of any offensive, and to alert the country’s leadership immediately so that they can take appropriate action,” Valery Ivanov explained. It was first thought that for this purpose a new army unit would be set up. But, as the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper reports, the air and space defense forces will be incorporated into the Space Troops, which have existed since 2001 in Russia. Ivanov also said that a new supersonic anti-missile defense system is expected to be put into service by 2020.Last year the president approved the new state arms budget for the years 2011-2020, which includes increased financing for re-equipping the Russian army. Under the document, by the end of the stated period, at least 70 per cent of all arms should be new equipment.