27 November 2009

Russian Military Future Outlined by Medvedev in a Speech to Parliament

Prime Minister Medvedev outlined Russia's accelerating military future.
President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday dedicated part of his annual parliamentary speech to beefing up the Russian military - and without delay.

In the 100-minute marathon speech built around the idea of “modernization and change,” the Russian president surprised observers with an ambitious shopping list of military hardware that he said must be operational in the Russian military by 2010.

"Next year,” Medvedev said, in comments that probably had defense contractors sweating, “we need to supply to the army over 30 ground-based and sea-based ballistic missiles, five Iskander missile systems, some 300 armored vehicles, 30 helicopters, 28 fighter aircraft, three nuclear submarines, and one Korvet combat ship."

The Russian president said the rapid rearmament program was necessary for creating an army “that will not allow anybody to threaten us and our allies" and give Russian forces “superiority over any enemy.”

No word on which of Putin's speechwriters prepared the remarks for him.

In other news, Medvedev whacked a bunch of senior staff over ammo depot explosions.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday dismissed several high-ranking military officials over the recent explosions at an arms depot in the Volga city of Ulyanovsk.

Two firefighters were killed and many others were injured after a series of explosions ripped through the military ammunition depot in Ulyanovsk on Nov. 13. Eight servicemen died at the depot on Monday when shells blasted during a clear-up operation.

The tragedy 'happened due to lack of control by the Defense Ministry and the criminal negligence by those who were disposing old ammunition at the depot,' Medvedev was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying at a meeting with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in Ulyanovsk.

'I have decided to dismiss the head of the armed forces' engineering forces, head of the Defense Ministry's main rocketry and artillery department, acting head of the armaments department and deputy commander of the Volga-Urals military district and acting head of the engineering forces,' Medvedev said.

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By: Brant

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