Russia defence industry fails to deliver -Medvedev

Updated: 2011-05-11 10:00


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MOSCOW - Russia's defence industry has failed to fulfil major arms contracts, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday, warning top government and industry officials they would be held responsible.

"The work is going very poorly and slowly," Medvedev told officials during a televised meeting. "It is unacceptable when decision are taken -- and at the highest level -- money is allocated but the product is not delivered."

A day earlier, Russia marked the anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe with its annual display of military might and parade through Moscow's Red Square.

Medvedev pledged to arm Russia's forces with the latest weapons and push reform of a military plagued by low morale and poor equipment.

Despite its status as the world's second-largest arms exporter, military analysts say Russia's defence industry has stagnated since the collapse of the Soviet Union, relying on outdated designs.

The industry's shortfalls and the need for an overhaul of the army's own ageing hardware were exposed during Russia's five-day war with Georgia in 2008 and by the economic crisis of 2009.

"The situation in the weapons production cannot be called a happy one, and everyone here present knows that," Medvedev told officials, ordering them to meet the country's overdue procurement contracts by the end of this month.

The Kremlin chief reminded officials he had signed off on orders for 30 ballistic missiles, five Iskander short-range missile systems, 300 armoured vehicles, 30 helicopters, 28 fighter aircraft, three atomic submarines and a corvette class warship in November 2009.

Russia has earmarked 19 trillion roubles ($685 billion) over the next decade to equip its forces but arms spending still lags behind that of leading Asian and Western powers.

Russia defence industry fails to deliver -Medvedev



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