SOCHI, May 12. /TASS/. A priority task for Russia is to keep pace of its Armed Forces modernization, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting on the development of the defense sector on Tuesday.
"In general, proper fulfillment of my instructions given to the Defense Ministry and specialized departments of the defense and industrial sector has resulted in the build-up of the pace of the army and navy rearmament," Putin said.
"Now the priority task is to keep this pace, promptly resolving the issues referred to joint competences and strictly fulfilling the confirmed schedules and deadlines of deliveries," the Russian president said.
The Russian Armed Forces should reach the planned parameters of their rearmament with modern weaponry by the end of summer, Putin said.
"Their share [of modern weapons] should reach 32% and 33% in the Army and the Air Force, correspondingly, 40% in the Airborne Troops and over 50% in the Navy and the Aerospace Defense Forces," the Russian president said.
According to Putin, certain success has been achieved over two years of the armed force development and the discussion of the state defense order fulfilment progress with the military commanders and representatives of the defense industry enterprises. "Optimization of the Russian army’s structure and composition, as well as the weapons systems was launched last year," Putin said. "We have been working on several spheres making progress in each."
According to the president, the newly created modified samples of weapons, military and special equipment will reduce the number of their types. "This means cost cutting for the whole rearmament program," Putin said. "This will also help us cut the costs not only for the maintenance, but also production, and implementation of the concept for the development of the Armed Forces’ automated command and control system will make it possible on a phased basis to improve troops’ control efficiency."
The Russian leader said that this system is designed for the period until 2020.
According to the president, practically all of state defense contract targets are being met as expected and the work is rhythmical.
"Practically all state defense contracts are being implemented as expected," Putin said at a conference reviewing progress in the development of the defence-industrial complex. On April 17, the unified military products acceptance day, we were able to see that this work is rhythmical and there is nothing like year-end ‘all hands’ job’," Putin said.
Putin cited statistics indicating that in January-April 2015 the manufacturers had already delivered more than one-third of the expected number of planes and helicopters, drones and air defense systems. Russia’s armour and artillery were being upgraded actively. The Russian armed forces was receiving advanced strategic missile complexes, surface ships and submarines.
Vladimir Putin also noted that the body of troops based on the Northern Fleet has enhanced security in the Arctic.
"The formation of the Northern Fleet Strategic Command has enhanced security in the Arctic, promoting modernization of military infrastructure in this region important for Russia," the president said.
The Arctic Joint Strategic Command was launched on December 1, 2014. It was formed on the basis of the Northern Fleet. A Russian Defence Ministry source told TASS previously that a self-sufficient troops group would be formed in the region by 2018. It will comprise, in particular, an air force and antiaircraft defence army the creation of which was announced by Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov. In addition, two separate motorised infantry brigades are being formed. The new command, based on the Northern Fleet and headquartered at Severomorsk, will acquire military, naval surface and strategic nuclear subsurface, air force and aerospace defence units, assets, and bases transferred from Russia's Western, Central, and Southern (but not Eastern) Military Districts, with which it will, importantly, be on a par. The creation of the new command was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on 24 November. The Northern Fleet will be absorbed in its entirety into the command, together with substantial elements of the 1st Air Force and Air Defence Command.