MOSCOW, June 21 (Itar-Tass) - On Wednesday at a meeting of the Defence Ministry’s board the military officials discussed the fulfilment of the tasks for the disposal of missiles and ammunition, which expired their storage periods, and the problems emerged over this issue. The ministry decided to continue to blast shells, bombs and missiles. The number of ammunition, which are passed for scrapping to special industrial enterprises, is reduced. The military industry does not cope with this task.
Under the chairmanship of the defence minister the ministry’s board considered the scope of measures to optimize the storage system of missiles, ammunition and explosive substances, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. The final goal is to bring the storage system in compliance with world standards. The arms depots, which are situated near settlements, are being removed gradually, at the same time new weapon storages are being built up to international standards. The military officials noted that “the bodies of the military command took major efforts to create the needed military stocks and to get rid of nonoperational, dangerous and excessive ammunition.”
One can easily judge about the scale of ammunition scrapping operations according to the statistical reports, which were made at the meeting of the Defence Ministry’s board, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported. In the previous year the Russian army succeeded to dispose of 1.74 million tonnes of outdated ammunition. For five months of this year another 600,000 tonnes of ammunition have been scrapped. Meanwhile, the bulk of this arsenal had to be exploded at the firing ranges that raised major indignation of local residents. In general, the Defence Ministry said it with a reason that the industries should dump the ammunition. However, the military still failed to conclude a contract for industrial disposal of a total of 181,000 tonnes of ammunition. Meanwhile, the share of highly explosive ammunition subject to scrapping is on the decline every year. The problem is even not in the money, as the Defence Ministry is seeking not to spare on the disposal of ammunition. The problem is in low industrial, logistical and storing capacities of the industry. However, the Defence Ministry’s board confirmed that its program does not change to dispose of all outdated highly explosive ammunition in the army and the Navy by the end of 2013.