From David Nowak, the AP: Russia will spend $650 billion to equip its dilapidated military with 600 new warplanes, 100 ships and 1,000 helicopters by 2020, Defense Ministry officials were quoted as saying Thursday.
The ambitious weapons procurement program also envisages eight new nuclear submarines and two Mistral aircraft carriers in addition to the two that Russia is buying from France, Russian news agencies quoted First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin as saying.
His announcement comes during a large-scale streamlining of personnel in Russia’s bloated and poorly equipped armed forces. The unpopular reforms of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov have seen as many as 200,000 officers lose their jobs and nine of every 10 army units disbanded. …
Last week, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin promised that from next year 1.5 percent of gross domestic product would be spent on army modernization, military pay and other defense spending. He said the country currently allocates 0.5 percent of GDP. (photo: Reuters)