Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  

Russian military to buy tanks, missiles in 2005

The Russian military will receive more than 90 new T-90 tanks, seven fighter jets and new nuclear missiles next year, Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said Thursday as he unveiled a 6.9-billion-dollar military budget for 2005.

"The positive trend in recent years of increasing budget spending on state defence has been preserved and enhanced," the minister said according to Interfax news agency.

The shopping list included three battalions of BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, one squad of Iskander-M missile launchers, two warships, seven modernized Su-27SM fighters, nine defense satellites as well as nuclear and non-nuclear air-to-ground missiles, the minister said.

In addition, some 300 research and development projects would be completed in 2005 and the armed forces would receive the finished products, Ivanov said.

More than 62 billion rubles (2.3 billion dollars) would be spent on research and development, 112 billion rubles on purchases of military hardware and armaments, and 11.8 billion rubles on repairs.

The army would receive the lion's share or about 40 percent of the budget for purchases of new hardware and armaments, while the Air Force and the Navy would get about 20 percent each.