“Today, our production samples of weapons of air and space defense – are one of the best,” President Vladimir Putin said yesterday at the St. Petersburg Obukhov State Plant, where he observed the latest anti-aircraft missile systems S-300, S-400, “Pantsir-S”. This is evidenced, in particular, by its popularity in the global arms market.
The Concern “Almaz-Antey”, which includes the Obukhov Plant, showed for the first time the promising air defense missile system “Vityaz”. Putin sat in the cockpit of the system and talked to Constantine Pologov, one of the developers. According to CEO of “Almaz-Antey” Vladislav Menshikov, this system will replace the missile system S-300 of the first generation.
“We have already agreed with the Ministry of Defense, and this year we want to pass missiles on tests,” said Menshikov, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed these plans.
“We cannot allow the breach of strategic deterrence system balance, the reduction of our nuclear forces effectiveness,” said Putin during the meeting on the implementation of the state program of armaments up to 2020 following the inspection of military equipment. The creation of military-space defense will continue and will be one of the key areas of military construction.
The president said that he considered as controversial the decision of the Soviet Union leaders to refuse give up on medium-range missiles.
“Other states are actively improving their offensive weapons, including medium-range missiles and almost all of our neighbors are developing these weapons systems,” said Putin. “The Soviet Union at the time and, of course, the Russian Federation refused to use these systems – medium-range missiles, signing an agreement with the United States. It is not very clear, because for Americans these systems are not relevant at all, they have no place to use them, and for the Soviet Union and today’s Russia, especially given the fact that our other neighboring countries develop these systems, the decision was at least controversial. But the decision has been made and we should proceed from the realities of today.
“Troops of Aerospace Defense must have at least 50% of modern weapons in two years, and in 2020 – at least 70%,” the president put the task. “We will continue to build up the tactical capabilities of the troops, to create an advanced and highly efficient system of air and space defense.”
As part of the revision of this system development Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the 60th Combat Training Center of missile troops and artillery application by ground forces in the Astrakhan region, where one formation received the team kit missile system “Iskander-M”.
The press service of the Defense Ministry reported that Shoigu accepted the report of missile brigade commander, inspected the battery “Iskander-M” on the starting position and the deployed command post.
“The country leaders take unprecedented steps to equip the Armed Forces with new and modern weapons and military equipment. Today missile brigade received the newest missile system “Iskander-M”, which is unique in the world by its performance characteristics,” he said. By 2018, we plan to equip all missile brigades of ground forces with this missile system.”
Shoigu emphasized that “this new approach in the re-equipping of military units will require problem solving to a new level as by the defense industry and the armed forces.” “So the most important thing is to create the necessary infrastructure for the operation service as well as for personnel training,” he concluded.