MOSCOW, September 20 (Itar-Tass) —— Not a single army ammunition depot within city limits will store insecure munitions by the end of this year thanks to the Defense Ministry’s effort to withdraw and dispose of obsolete projectiles, Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Dmitry Bulgakov said on Tuesday.
“Some 230,000 out of 286,000 tonnes of ammunition, which is due to be removed from depots in large cities, have been taken away. The goal is met at 87%,” he said.
“There will be no insecure munitions left at depots in cities by the end of this year. The depots will store nothing but armaments and military hardware, which will be removed next year,” Bulgakov said.
Some 1.3 million out of 1.68 million tonnes of munitions planned for the disposal in 2011 have been disposed of, together with 50,000 out of 85,000 tonnes of gunpowder. “We will complete the construction of 145 modern ammunition storages this year. The storages will meet modern standards and have automatic fire extinguishing systems,” the general said.
Next year every ammunition depot will have four armored vehicles modified to extinguish fires, he said.
“An armored fire fighting-vehicle based on the T-72 tank platform has been developed and is being tested. We expect every ammunition depot and military base to have two fire-fighting tanks starting from next year. They will also have fire-fighting vehicles on the KamAZ platform and an engineering vehicle. A contract has been signed with KamAZ on the delivery of six fire-fighting vehicles,” the general said.
Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force will have 32 fire-fighting Ilyushin Il-76MD planes. “The acquisition of the fire-fighting equipment has already begun,” he said. If necessary, it is possible to use 15 Mil Mi-8 and six Mil Mi-26 helicopters for fire extinguishing, he said.
The general said earlier that the Defense Ministry was prepared to assist the Emergency Situations Ministry in confining wildfires similar with those of summer 2010.
“With the authorization of the government or the chief of state, the Defense Ministry is prepared to summon up to 7,000 servicemen and up to 1,000 specialized vehicles for fighting wildfires. About 100 fire depots are on constant alert,” he said.
As for the ammunition depot safety, the general said that some 15,000 containers for storing ammunition would be supplied this year.
The 99th depot in Bashkortostan was disbanded on September 1 by the order of the Russian General Staff, and the 102nd depot in Udmurtia would be disbanded by December 1, as both “failed to comply with the reformed Armed Forces,” he said.
Bulgakov said earlier that ten ammunition depots and bases would be withdrawn from the city limits this year. “The work is done for seven, and the remaining three will be removed by the yearend,” he said.
The pullout of ammunition depots and bases from cities will be fully complete in 2015, the general said.
Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov ordered the Armed Forces command on June 30 to ensure the security of artillery munitions depots, which were a constant source of emergency situations. He said at a meeting of the Defense Ministry Board that the munitions must be handled by trained personnel only.
He also ordered modernization of the depots and bases and better fire safety of those facilities. “It is necessary to interact with the local authorities and to organize regular inspections at danger-prone sites,” he said.
The ammunition storing system approved by the minister is made up of 50 units, including four main depots and 46 auxiliary storages.