Sunday, February 27, 2011

Russia to buy 1,000 helicopters by 2020

Russia's Defense Ministry announced plans on Thursday to buy 100 ships, over 600 aircraft and 1,000 helicopters under a 2011-2020 arms procurement program.

Russia will buy 10 new generation S-500 air defense systems, which will replace the S-400 systems currently entering service with the Russian forces, said First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin, who is in charge of arms procurement.

Russia plans to purchase more than 100 helicopters this year, including Mi-26 Halo heavy transport helicopters, Mi-28 Night Hunter and Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters.

Russia's Defense Ministry submitted the 19 trillion ruble ($651 billion) arms procurement spending plan for 2011-2020 to the government in December. Some 80% of the funds will be spent on buying weapons and 10% will be spent on scientific research.

The official confirmed earlier reports that Russia will buy two Mistral assault ships from France, while two more of the ships will be built under license in Russia.

Russia is planning to build eight strategic nuclear submarines by 2020 and equip them with Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which are expected to be put into service this year.

Russia also plans to develop new heavy ballistic missiles to replace Soviet-era SS-18 Satan and SS-20 Saber ICBMs, Popovkin said

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