Global General

Air Force upgrade a priority for Russian army: Putin

Updated: 2011-04-20 18:57
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MOSCOW - The upgrade of Russia's Air Force and air defense system would be a priority of Russian armed forces in the coming days, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday in his annual address to the State Duma, or the lower house of the parliament.

Putin said the Russian Air Force has already received some new S-400 systems, adding that "the production of S-500 systems will be started in the future."

"They (S-500 systems) are capable of meeting air defense and missile defense tasks and destroy targets in near space," Putin noted.

The prime minister also revealed Russia will double the production of ballistic missile systems from 2013.

"The Armed Forces will receive new strategic and tactical missile systems, such as RS-24 Yars, Bulava and Iskander M. The production of ballistic missile systems should almost double starting from 2013," Putin said.

Meanwhile, Putin stressed the funds of Russia's defense budget should not be spent abroad.

"Certain technology and samples may probably be bought abroad, and even should be. But we have to realize that no one will sell us promising latest-generation armaments," Putin said.

"The defense budget funds should mainly be used in Russia, and support our industry and science, and create new, high-tech jobs," he added.

This was Putin's third government work report to the State Duma.