President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu presented Russia’s arms procurement roadmap for 2014 including new strategic missiles, tanks and aircraft.
“In 2014 more than 40 of the newest intercontinental ballistic missiles, 210 aircraft, and more than 250 armored vehicles will enter into the armed forces,” President Putin said at a meeting of the country’s top military leadership.
Russia will observe the continued deployment of the Yars ICBM to the Strategic Missile Forces and the Iskander tactical ballistic missile to the ground forces next year, Shoigu said. Two new ballistic missile submarines will also become fully operational next year, he added.
Russia currently deploys an estimated 326 ICBMs with approximately 1,050 warheads, according to a June report by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
The Strategic Missile Forces has so far fully equipped two regiments of the Teikovo Missile Division in central Russia with Yars systems.
The two regiments consist of a total of 18 missile systems and several mobile command posts, according to the Defense Ministry.
Shoigu did not say where the new missiles will be deployed, but mentioned that they will be first tested in the Novosibirsk Missile Division, based in Siberia.
In line with the New START treaty signed in 2010, Russia is allowed to add 227 delivery systems and 150 warheads to its stockpile of nuclear weapons.
According to the recent State Duma Defense Committee report on the draft federal budget for 2014-2016, Russia plans to increase annual spending on nuclear weapons by more than 50 percent in the next three years.
The report said 46.26 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) is to be spent on Russia’s nuclear weapons systems in 2016, up from 29.29 billion rubles this year.
The Defense Ministry earlier announced plans to retire most of its outdated SS-18 Satan, SS-19 Stiletto and SS-25 Sickle (Topol) ICBMs and replace them with SS-27 Sickle-B (Topol-M) and RS-24Yars missiles by 2021.
President Putin outlined a roadmap last year to increase defense spending by nearly two-thirds to $97 billion by 2016. Putin said the funding was vital to modernize the military’s hardware, while calling for the armed forces’ operating costs to be kept to less than 30 percent of the defense budget.
A total of $650 billion is to be spent on military hardware in the period to 2020.
So, Russia is in the midst of a major reform of the military including re-equipment and a transition to a largely professional force.