MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s defense industry technology is still largely outdated, lagging decades behind, a senior Defense Ministry official said Friday.
“Many defense firms are still not ready for series production of high-tech weapons systems. Many military technologies are still at 1980s levels,” Lt. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko, chief of the Defense Ministry’s Main Armor Directorate, said in an article published in the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.
There has been a disturbing decline in the quality of military production, he said, adding that this is mainly due to obsolete equipment and the extremely low pace of modernization.
Another pressing problem is the lack of qualified personnel, especially mid-level managers, he said.
Shevchenko also criticized the defense industry’s dependence on foreign suppliers.
The Russian government has reportedly allocated 20 trillion rubles ($640 billion) for the comprehensive rearmament of the Armed Forces that will see the share of modern weaponry rise to 30 percent by 2015, and exceed 70 percent by 2020.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Tuesday that Russia will spend $650 billion for the rearmament and modernization of its armed forces through 2020.
However, in June, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that defense spending priorities should move from arms procurement to personnel and infrastructure. A month later, a deputy finance minister explained that the idea was not to cut defense spending, but optimize it.
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Russia has surged ahead on the foreign policy stage, but this is not enough to remain a great power. The tough-minded policies and masterful diplomacy of Russia’s leadership have maximized the country’s position in the world, and are now the main source of its international influence and prestige. Russia’s foreign policy in the next decade depends entirely on what happens at home.