Russian military to add aircraft, vessels

From the October 2014 Trumpet Print Edition

The Russian Air Force will receive more than 200 new warplanes and helicopters by the end of 2014, Russian Air Force commander in chief Viktor Bondarev said on August 12. The announcement came just weeks after Moscow announced that its naval force will add more than 50 new vessels by the end of the year.

During celebrations of Russia’s Air Force Day, Bondarev said the Russian Air Force has received more warplanes in the last three years than in the previous two decades.

In late June, the Russian Navy launched a Project 636 diesel-electric ultraquiet submarine, as well as a new-generation Project 12700 mine countermeasures ship. Navy commander in chief Adm. Viktor Chirkov said in a June 21 statement that by the end of the year, the navy will receive five more Project 636 submarines, four Raptor patrol boats and more than 40 additional combat and logistics vessels.

The announcements come at a time of increasing aggression by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And Kremlin analysts say that Russia is not even disclosing the full extent of its military spending.

After Russia announced its defense budget last year, Langley’s Intelligence Group wrote, “[T]he budget put forth by the Duma’s defense committee cannot accurately reflect either the real cost of Russia’s growing expenditures on nuclear and conventional forces or the real size of deficits being run up to finance increased military spending.”

Just as during the Cold War, Moscow’s true military budget is a state secret. Langley Intelligence reported that the Duma figures are “transparently false to the point of absurdity, since the Russian armed forces outnumber those of the United States in every category and are embarked on ambitious modernization programs, while the U.S. military is cutting its budget.”