A Full Rundown Of Russia's Immense Military Acquisitions
Walter Hickey | Jul. 23, 2012, 12:00 PM | 28,018 | 13
koraxdc / flickr
The MSTA-S 2S19
Funded by booming oil and gas profits, Russia is in the midst of a huge equipment upgrade backed by Putin's promise to increase military spending by $770 billion from 2014 to 2020.
It sounds like a lot, and it is, the Russian military budget doubled from 2006 to 2009 from $25 billion to $50 billion; but it's still not a tenth of the U.S. defense budget, which averages around $600 billion per year.
Perhaps the most interesting facet of Russian military production is that it's a bit less refined than America's, more burgeoning capitalism than entrenched lobbying with the state.
Private enterprise is exporting sophisticated arms packages and entering into international contracts with foreign powers to enhance already well developed weapons program.
So while this doesn't necessarily bring us to a new Cold War as some suggest, it should keep the U.S. aware that it's not the only player on the world's military stage, and in the end, that can only be a good thing.
Russia's T-90 main battle tank tank is just as advanced as the America's M1 and costs half as much
Produced from 1995 onward, the T-90 is a modernization of the Soviet T-72.
The overhaul is remarkable and the fact the T-90 costs anywhere from $2.8 to $4.3 million compared to the M1 Abrams $8.6 million is more remarkable still.
Manufacturer Kartsev-Venediktov has pumped the tank full of electronic warfare capabilities, and it's filled with laser warning receivers, an electronic jamming system and a three-tiered protection system consisting of turret armor, explosive reactive armor and a full countermeasures suite.
Despite the T-90's well advanced status it's only a stop-gap piece. Russia's T-99, coming by 2020, will serve as the new main battle tank, infantry fighting vehicle, and armored personnel carrier.
Production begins of the T-99 begins in 2014.
The MSTA-S 2S19 can run on six different types of fuel
michael / picasa
While this artillery platform is pretty interesting on its own a 152mm self propelled howitzer that entered service in 1989 perhaps its most compelling feature is its versatility.
The 2MSTA-S 2S19 offers significant automation with loading and firing, allowing the crew to stay mobile while firing and it can run on six different types of fuel including diesel, gasoline, aviation fuel, and alcohol. Russia has 800 of them as of 2008.
The MSTA has been adapted into a number of different variants which include a wheeled variant, various enhanced versions, a "laser tank" and a prototype which includes dual howitzers.
The Sukhoi Su-35 is Russia's most advanced operational fighter jet
The Su-35 is a twin-engined multi-role fighter. Since Russia has not been in a significant war since the aircraft's development, the supermaneuverable jet is currently used by the nation's Russian Knights air display team. The Russian Air Force has eleven of them, mostly an upgraded version.
The Air Forces of Libya, India, Malaysia and Algeria have considered purchasing the craft.
Exporter Rosoboronexport lost $4 billion after the Libyan revolution because of cancelled contracts, so the future of the jet outside of Russian borders remains unclear.
The Sukhoi T-50 will be Russia's stealth fifth-generation fighter
This is the future of Russian combat aviation.
Currently a prototype T-50, the second model started flight testing in March 2011. Next year, the Defense Ministry plans to buy 10 evaluation aircraft, followed by an initial purchase of 60 jets by 2016.
The service life is projected to be three decades, and this aircraft will likely contend with the the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet. Still, the Russians managed to confine development costs to around $10 billion.
While less stealthy than the F-22, newspapers have claimed it is more maneuverable.
The MiG-35 has state-of-the-art radar and is all digital
The MiG-35 is a huge upgrade to the MiG-29, a jet so successful it remains in use all over the world.
It's still in the development phase, but some Russian leaders have been completely explicit about the name: The MiG 35 is seen as a probable direct competitor to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Installed on the MiG-35 will be a state-of-the art radar system developed by Phazotron. This fighter is all digital. It should be able to hit Mach 2.25 and has a range of 125 miles. It first flew in 2007.
The Mi-28 is the most advanced attack helicopter made in Asia for now
Right now, the Mi-28 is the top attack helicopter made in Asia. It functions in any weather, by day or night, and has no other possible use beside aerial offense.
Still, the helicopter is a mere placeholder for the time being. Right now Russian Helicopters the corporate parent of Mil is designing the next-generation attack helicopter to bring Russian rotors out of the eighties. With China developing the Z-10 (with some help from Pratt & Whitney of course) it's time for an upgrade.
The fifth-generation helicopter has bold goals: light, noiseless, and invisible to radar. They want to start work after the Su-35 is done.
The Antonov An-70 can haul up to 300 troops at a time
Marianivka / wikimedia
Russia has sixty of the Ukrainian aircraft on order, to be delivered sometime between 2015 and 2016. Right now Antonov has two prototypes complete. It's able to hold 300 troops or 200 wounded.
It has got four propellers. It's comparable to the C-130J. The project has had some significant hurdles, with Russia pulling out in 2006 before ordering sixty aircraft in 2010, consistent with the rearmament program for the new decade.
The Yasen-class of attack submarines will carry up to 32 cruise missiles
Russian President's Office
The Office of Naval Intelligence thinks the Yasen sub is the quietest in the ocean belonging to a competitor to the United States.
It's powered by a nuclear reactor and one is currently in trials after its 2010 launch. The next is expected in the ocean before 2015. It's b
Nemo me impune lacesset,
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It is the teaching of all history that liberty can only be preserved in small areas. Local self-government is, therefore, indispensable to liberty. A centralized and distant bureaucracy is the worst of all tyranny.
Taxation can justly be levied for no purpose other than to provide revenue for the support of the government. To tax one person, class or section to provide revenue for the benefit of another is none the less robbery because done under the form of law and called taxation."
John W. Davis, Democratic Presidential Candidate, 1924. Davis was one of the greatest trial and appellate lawyers in US history. He also served as the US Ambassador to the UK.