SOCHI, November 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin set a task to ensure a reliable air support to Russian forces in Syria and sked Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to report how this task was fulfilled.
"I would like to ask you and the General Staff to elaborate and implement a set of measures to ensure reliable protection of the bases in Tartus and Hmeimin from air and from sea. What was done for that?," Putin asked.
Shoigu reported that a lot of work has been done "to organize a multi-tier defense system." Thus, he mentioned the S-400, S-300 and Bastion systems.
"As you know, we deployed a S-400 system long ago. Apart from that, we have added an S-300 system to cover the sea section practically to Cyprus. Moreover, Bastion coastal missile systems have been deployed to cover practically the entire coastline. As of now, thanks to these systems we are able to hit both sea-base and ground-based targets," the minister said, adding that the ranges of these systems are 350 kilometers at sea and up to 450 kilometers on the ground.
"Is our sea grouping safely protected by the Bastions?," the president asked to receive a positive answer. The defense minister also said that Pantsir systems had been deployed to ensure protection from low-flying targets.
According to Shoigu, in the past four months Syrian S-200 systems have been restored. Now they are used inside the country, in particular to back up the system of defense of Russian bases.
Vladimir Putin has said that the share of advanced weaponry and other hardware in the armed forces must exceed 50% by the end of the year.
"The share of such weapons, of advanced hardware in the ground and naval forces, keeps growing steadily and by the end of the year it is to exceed 50%."
He added that "already now the annual targets for the supplies of main types of armaments had been met 70%, and those for the purchases of missiles and ammunition - more than 85%."
According to the head of state, the approved plans for the supplies of modern armaments and other technologies were being implemented systematically despite the existing economic difficulties.
By now, Putin said, the armed forces have received more than 5,500 pieces of military hardware and other equipment, including 60 new and 130 upgraded planes and helicopters, one multi-role submarine, and 60 missile systems and launchers, 55 radars, 310 new tanks and armored vehicles and 460 upgraded ones.
"All in all, this year’s target is set at 5,700 new main types of weapons and military technologies and another 3,800 overhauled," Putin said, adding he hoped that "they will be delivered to military units as scheduled.