Russian MoD intensifies military acquisitions

The financial volume of 46 procurement contracts signed by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) at the Army 2019 defense exhibition, which was held in Kubinka near Moscow on 24-30 June, has set a new record, according to the country’s top military officials.

Russian MoD intensifies military acquisitions
T-90A displayed at Army-2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Forty-six contracts and agreements worth some RUB 1 trillion (approximately USD1 billion) with Russian defense enterprises and organizations were signed at the exhibition. As a result, the country’s military will receive the following weapon systems:

- 76 Sukhoi Su-57 fifth-generation multirole combat aircraft to be delivered through 2028 (under the appropriate contract, the annual delivery rates will reach six platforms in 2020-2022 and 16 platforms in 2023-2027; two more Mi-28NM demonstrators have already been sent to the military);

- 10 Mil Mi-8AMTSh-VN (NATO reporting name: Hip-H) special transport assault helicopters to be delivered in 2021-2022;

- Two upgraded Project 885M ‘Yasen-M’ (Yasen-M-class) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (this contract’s delivery schedule was not disclosed at the show);

- Two Project 677 ‘Lada’ (Lada-class) diesel-electric submarines (the contract’s delivery rates were not reported);

- A number of modernized T-90M main battle tanks (MBTs) to be rebuilt from T-90As that are now operated by the Russian military (the MoD disclosed neither volumes nor delivery rates under this very contract);

- The Izdeliye 180 (Item 180) air-launched weapons (the Izdeliye 180 is supposed to be a new air-to-air missile; any additional details about the contract are not disclosed);

- A batch of 9M728 ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCM) for the Iskander-M (SS-26 Stone) self-propelled tactical ballistic missile systems (the number of the GLCMs to be supplied to the Russian military is not specified);

- Some 48N6P-01 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) for the S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) long-range SAM systems (the volume of the batch is not disclosed);

- The ISDM (Inzhenernaya Systema Distancionnogo Minirovaniaya) mine laying systems (the number of the ISDMs is not reported);

- A batch of 120 mm wheeled self-propelled mortars (Rostec’s Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) corporation did not announce the type of the weapons, saying that the abovementioned artillery systems "are designed to engage enemy command and control posts, armored vehicles, and manpower");

- Some robotized land platforms to be developed by the UVZ’s Ural Transport Machine-Building Design Bureau (UKBTM);

The MoD did not specify the remaining contracts. However, the military is known to have primarily acquired brand new weapon systems at the Army 2019 defense show: the implementation of the 46 abovementioned programs will result in the delivery of 800 brand new and 100 modernized platforms and more than 6,000 high-precision weapons to the Russian Armed Forces. The MoD said nothing about the structure of the acquisitions; however, "100 modernized platforms" could be attributed to the T-90M MBTs as those platforms are the only known upgraded platforms on the list.

It should be mentioned that all the procurements are made under the State armament program through 2027 (Gosudarstvennaya Programma Vooruzheniya-2027 or GPV-2027).

Despite Russia’s recent announcements on its shrinking military budget, the Army 2019 exhibition has highlighted the fact that the country’s defense acquisitions are on the verge. The Army exhibition was established in 2015 and at that year’s show the MoD did not announce the financial volume of signed contracts. At the Army 2016, the military acquired defense hardware worth more than RUB130 billion (USD2 billion), at the Army 2017 - approximately RUB 170 billion (USD2.61 billion), and at the Army 2018 - some RUB 130 billion (USD2 billion). Therefore, the Army 2019 saw the financial volume of the signed contracts at least seven times more than the average figure of previous shows.

Typically, the Russian MoD acquires only conventional weapon systems at the Army exhibitions. However, at this year’s show, two SSGNs intended for the reinforcement of the country’s nuclear triad were procured.

The Army 2019 was the biggest defense event in June. However, it should be mentioned that the military announced the deliveries of some weapon systems to the troops that months. The field units received the following items of hardware last months:
- Ilyushin Il-76MDM (Candid-B) heavy military transport aircraft;
- Gamma-S1M radars;
- Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback) frontline bombers;
- L-39 Albatros jet trainers;
- an Antonov An-26 (Curl) light military transport aircraft;
- refurbished Mil Mi-24 (Hind) gunships;
- refurbished Mil Mi-8 military transport helicopters;
- refurbished 2S4 Tyulpan (Tulip) 240 mm SPMs

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