Under Budget and Ahead of Schedule: "Putin’s Army" is Rapidly Modernizing on ALL Fronts
Washington's withdrawal from the INF Treaty might have grave consequences and topple the entire system of arms control. However, Russia is ready for such a severe scenario. The new developments will help preserve the strategic balance of power with the US despite its record-breaking military budget. This statement was made by Vladimir Putin today at the meeting of the Defense Ministry Board. The president summed up the accomplishments of the armed forces and the military-industrial complex in 2018 and set new objectives.
Dmitry Petrov with the details.
The supreme commander-in-chief addressed the generals urging them to assess and consider the development of the military-political situation in the world. The situations in the Middle East, in Afghanistan, and on the Korean Peninsula are still complicated. NATO is expanding its military infrastructure towards our borders. The key member of the alliance, the United States, is clearly aiming to escalate the situation.
Vladimir Putin: «The USA's statement on withdrawing from the INF Treaty is a source of major concern for us. It may result in the degradation or even the collapse of the entire architecture of arms control and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Yes, indeed, this treaty comes with certain complexities since other countries with medium-range and short-range missiles are not part of it. But why not discuss their accession to this treaty? Or discuss the parameters of a new treaty? In the event that the United States breaks the treaty we will be forced to take additional measures to strengthen our security».
Being the largest military power in the world, the US spends a lot on its defense, more than all other countries combined. Next year, their military budget will only increase.
Vladimir Putin: «The Pentagon has a budget of over 700 billion. Was it 700?»
Sergey Shoigu: 725.
Vladimir Putin: «725. This is a record high. Even taking into consideration the modest inflation rate, this all amounts to… this amounts to a militarist budget. while our military spending was 46 billion, the parity is still very large and we need to preserve the strategic balance».
In 1987, the US and the USSR signed the INF Treaty. Back then, the world was on the edge. It seemed that it would never happen again.
Vladimir Putin: «What's the meaning of the treaty? It meant that medium-range and short-range missiles, with a range of 300-3,000 miles, were to be eliminated. Land-based missiles were to be liquidated since the Soviet Union had no others. The United States had sea-based and air-based missiles while we did not. Therefore, from the point of view of the Soviet Union, this was unilateral disarmament. Who knows why the Soviet leaders decided to go ahead with unilateral disarmament. However, it was done. Meanwhile, our partners continued to expand sea-based and air-based weapons systems. Then why did our partners get so anxious? Perhaps because we've acquired those components of sea-based and air-based medium-range and short-range missiles. You all know the sea-based Kalibr missiles that were launched from two seas, the Caspian and the Mediterranean, and proved to be quite successful, efficient, and accurate, as they are supposed to be. And I didn't even mention the Kinzhal system which is basically a medium-range weapon, at 1,200 miles, unrivaled in the world. The 1,200 miles-Kinzhal can accelerate up to Mach 10. Nobody has that. But now we do. But that's not a violation of the INF Treaty, is it? These systems are deployed on MiG-31s, not on the ground. They are the ones violating the treaty with the deployment of Aegis systems in Romania and Poland».
Our recent advances in creating the most advanced weapon systems that are unrivaled in the world is partially a countermeasure. Over the course of the year, each branch and arm have been developing in a balanced manner and according to the state arms program.
Sergey Shoigu, Minister of Defense: «Since December 1st, 2018 the Peresvet laser systems have been on test-combat duty. In 2019 the first missile regiment will be equipped with a strategic missile system armed with the Avangard cruise missile. All of these assets will allow us to overwhelm the most advanced ABM systems.»
It's clear that when the president was talking about those systems in his address to the Federal Assembly the R&D phase of each project was already over. But the fact that it took only a couple of months to adopt the majority of the new weapons is a true accomplishment of our military-industrial complex and military.
Vladimir Putin: «These weapons will multiply the potential of our army and navy, thus reliably and absolutely ensuring Russia’s security for decades ahead consolidating the balance of power and, thus, international stability. I hope that our new systems will provide food for thought to those who are used to militaristic and aggressive rhetoric».
The Navy is adopting new ships almost every month. The naval aviation units are acquiring new combat aircraft. Coastal missile defense complexes are developing. In the next few years, the armed forces will be substantially rearmed.
Vladimir Korolyov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy: «Well continue building blue-water vessels, primarily frigates and large landing ships. But we'll also build coastal vessels».
Vladimir Shamanov, Chair of the State Duma Defense Committee: «We managed to preserve the harmonious development of all arms and branches. I'd also like to specifically stress that our nuclear triad has reached record levels. 82% of our missiles are of the most advanced models. And that's the main guarantee of our security».
Many officers acquired actual combat experience in Syria. Today, the Defense Ministry is exhibiting the trophies seized from the insurgents in liberated territories. Here's a truck-based mobile system equipped with unguided missiles Here's a homemade high-caliber firearm. It was primarily used for counter-sniping. Here are a couple of anti-tank rocket launchers. And here are the notorious American TOWs which inflicted heavy casualties on the Syrian Army. And here's a 105mm German howitzer from the 1940s. There are also a lot of drones here. The majority of weapons were produced in Eastern Europe and captured in the territory of the Deir ez-Zor province which was liberated a year ago.
Putin inspected the insurgent command post. It has the most advanced communication system, the digital modular radio. The terrorists had an actual army that had the most advanced equipment. Here's more proof: a special machine to dig tunnels and a self-propelled minesweeper produced in Great Britain.
— The insurgents used it to create breaches in the minefields laid by the Syrian Army. The minesweeper weighs 15 tons and is capable of creating a 4-meter breach.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you. Where was it captured?
— Close to Aleppo.
Under the protection of their patrons, ISIS was acting extremely violently and cynically in Syria. They were robbing humanitarian convoys, leaving thousands of refugees to starve and staging chemical weapon provocations.
Vladimir Putin: «Our uncompromising struggle against the insurgents will continue. We will give Syrians all of the support they need. At the same time, our Army service personnel befittingly perform their peacemaking and humanitarian tasks. They are helping to restore Syria as a single, peaceful, and stable state».
The president held a separate meeting with the commanders of the military districts and the North Fleet. He also decorated several military units and the Eastern Military District with state awards.
Dmitry Petrov, Alexandra Terpugova, Anton Kosimovich, Pyotr Mamochkin Vesti, the Ministry of Defense.