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Russia set to develop air defence systems

The Almaz-Atney concern demonstrated the advanced Vityaz missile defence system that is to replace the S-300 system

MOSCOW, June 20 (Itar-Tass) - On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Obukhovsky plant in St. Petersburg, where he chaired a government meeting dedicated to issues of the implementation of the state defence order. He inspected the most advanced air defence systems, such as the Vityaz system that is to replace the obsolete S-300 air defence system.

The Almaz-Atney concern demonstrated the advanced Vityaz missile defence system that is to replace the S-300 system, writes the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper. The president got inside the Vityaz and S-400 driver’s compartments. He also scrutinized a layout of a future technology park planned to be built on the base of the Obukhovsky plant. The park will unite five defence-sector enterprises located in St. Petersburg that are members of the Almaz-Antey concern. The plant lived through very difficult times in the late 1990s, when it was next to running bankrupt. Now, the plant “has practically recovered,” the president noted. “It turns out high technology products that enjoy great demand.”

Later in the day, at a meeting dedicated to the state defence order and the arms program for Russia’s space defence forces, Putin said that as many as 3.4 trillion roubles would be allocated to sponsor the program of the modernization of the space forces till the year 2020, and that by that time, up to 70 percent of arms must be upgraded, writes the Kommersant daily. The president stressed that this time the state defence order must be executed in due time, an unprecedented thing in the entire modern history of Russia. Apart from that, Putin said that the most advanced weapons systems would be displayed at the MAKS-2013 air show.

According to the president, the present-day enhanced attention to the sphere of missile defence is the call of the time, since non-nuclear weapons systems are being widely developed across the globe, the Novye Izvestia newspaper noted. Thus, the United States sticks to its plans to deploy a strategic missile defence system, although it has agreed to make certain concessions. When and where these systems will be deployed is just a matter of time, the president said. “We cannot allow to offset the balance of strategic deterrent forces,” Putin stressed. That is why the missile defence forces must be equipped with the state-of-the-art weapons.

At a meeting, the president noted that the S-300 and the S-400 air defence systems enjoy high demand on the world markets, the Izvestia newspaper writes. So, Russia will develop such systems, which, in terms of their strike capacities, rank next to strategic nuclear forces. The president stressed it is a call of the time to quip Russia’s space defence forces with new advanced weapons. “The United States continues its missile defence system program,” he explained.

Although, the process now it not that active as it used to be, and Russia positively assesses the steps of its American partners, but despite this, the United States and NATO do not plan to give up their plans, the Russian president noted. Moreover, military analysts do not rule out a possibility of the first disarming strike even against nuclear powers.

It is planned to allocate three trillion roubles to re-arm Russia’s space defence forces. By 2020, these forces will receive up to 70% of new weapons, the newspaper notes. Russia’s army potential has been enhanced by the Voronezh-M and Voronezh-DM radar stations, and Pantsyr-S missile systems. A new missile system, S-500, capable of hitting targets in the hear-the-Earth space is being developmed.