Russian DM reports to president on new arms & recent exercises

RIA Novosti, Russia
Aug 9 2004


MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry has
decided to provide war fighters Su-24 with a new system of high
precision weapons “shot and forgot”. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov
said this at the president’s meeting with the government on Monday.

Late last week, the Russian defense minister said that Su-24 fighters
would be modernized and purchased for the Russian Armed Forces, at a
press conference at the Edelveis (Kyrgyzstan) testing range after the
Rubezh-2004 exercises.

“This aircraft can successfully work in the mountains. We are
beginning to modernize aircraft of the Russian Air Force and are
putting them on the production line. We are beginning to purchase
this equipment, and we have no doubt about these aircraft,” said

Ivanov also said that the Russian Defense Ministry would forward
proposals to the president about forming and arming two mountain

According to the defense minister, “we are planning to complete the
formation of the two mountain brigades by next year.”

Earlier, the president instructed to form a subdivision to serve in
the North Caucasus and help border guards defend the border.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov reported to the president and
the government about the exercises on the Kola peninsula and in

The minister said that the exercises were aimed to drill measures to
provide security of transporting nuclear materials and eliminating
the consequences of an attack on a convoy.

“The super tank used for transporting nuclear materials was shelled
from grenade throwers, derailed and sunk in a reservoir,” the
minister said.

In his words, the exercises involved 1,000 servicemen of the Defense
Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the FSB, the Federal Agency for
Nuclear Energy, and also 500 units of special equipment.

Ivanov also noted that the exercises were positively assessed by the
attending NATO observers.

“We expect that our experts will be able to gain an insight into the
situation in this sphere in a NATO nuclear country,” said Ivanov.

As for exercises in Kyrgyztsan, the minister noted that these were
the first serious exercises of the Collective Rapid Deployment
Forces. Participating in the exercises were Russia, Kyrgyzstan,
Belarus, and Armenia. On the Russian side, the exercises involved the
commandos of the Volga-Urals military district, and also 30 units of
combat aviation, combat helicopters, transport helicopters and the
Ka-50 helicopter Black Shark.

Ivanov said that the combat aviation used high precision weapons
based on the “shot-and-forgot” principle in Kyrgyzstan.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told the president about the situation
around funding servicemen’s housing. Direct federal spending on the
accumulative and mortgage crediting program for servicemen will
amount to 2.5 billion rubles ($1 equals about 29 rubles) in 2005, he
said. The minister stressed that the federal budget would pay the
first contribution and interest on the mortgage.

Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref in turn said
that before the draft law on servicemen’s housing provision comes
into force on January 1, another three draft laws would have to be
adopted along with 20 government resolutions.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress