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Russia won’t be drawn into new arms race — defense minister

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says the Russian Aerospace Force rearmament will raise missile destruction capability

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry considers as its major goal to maintain and support the current level of Russia’s military security, the ministry’s head Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday.

"I want to stress that we have no plans of being drawn into a new arms race," Shoigu said giving a lecture for the top officials of the ministry and representatives of the public.

The minister said the most important condition for meeting this goal is the readiness of the personnel to implement the tasks in the current environment. "This largely depends how the state cares about the servicemen," he said.

 The role of the deterrence factor with time may be shifted from the nuclear sphere to the non-nuclear one, which is likely to ease international tensions and strengthen confidence-building measures, he said. 

"First and foremost this will be achieved with the help of high accuracy weapons," Shoigu said in a lecture for the top personnel of the Defense Ministry and public figures devoted to crucial issues of defense-building policies, their current aspects and prospects.

"By 2021 the combat capabilities of Russia’s strategic non-nuclear forces are to be increased four-fold, which would allow for coping with the task of non-nuclear deterrence to the full extent," Shoigu said.

As follows from what he said, general purpose forces will continue to play a major role in maintaining military security.

"They will be responsible for addressing the bulk of the tasks crucial both in peace and wartime in the process of localizing and terminating armed conflicts, as well as struggle against international terrorism," he said.

Nuclear force

Shoigu stressed development of the strategic nuclear force remains an indisputable priority of the Russian Defense Ministry.

"Currently the strategic missile force and sea-based nuclear deterrence force are being equipped with advanced missile systems and long-range aircraft are being upgraded. This will increase the share of modern weapon systems to 72% by 2021, thus keeping the nuclear deterrence potential at the required level," he said.

At the end of 2016 it was announced that advanced weaponry already accounted for 60% of the nuclear triad. A year earlier the rate was at a level of 51%.

Russian Aerospace Force rearmament

The minister believes advanced combat airborne systems will increase the firepower capability of Russia’s Aerospace Force for destroying cruise missiles by 1.5 times.

"The Aerospace Force rearmament with advanced combat airborne complexes will raise their firepower ability to destroy cruise missile by 1.5 times," the defense minister said.

According to the defense minister, "the buildup of the radar field will allow reliably detecting various types of aerial targets."

"The Navy is receiving modern multipurpose surface ships and submarines armed with cruise missiles," the defense minister said.

"By 2021, the Navy’s forces will make up the basis of the grouping of long-range precision weapon carriers," the defense minister noted.

Possible deterioration

Russia’s military organization should develop considering a possible deterioration in the international situation, the minister said.

"Today’s condition of the state’s military organization corresponds to the requirements set to it. Its development should proceed with account taken of the possible deterioration in the international situation and the continuous improvement of the systems of foreign states’ armed struggle," Shoigu said during a lecture on the army and society.

These factors are taken into account to plan the directions of the Armed Forces development. In this process, the Defense Ministry plays the role of the coordinator of inter-departmental interaction in solving defense tasks, Shoigu said.

"The National Center of Russia’s Defense Control has been established to carry out comprehensive monitoring and analyze the military-political and strategic situation in real time and to ensure prompt decision-making on exercising control of the country’s military organization," the defense minister said.