Russia may be in the middle of an economic crisis, but the country’s defence budget is surging.
Military spending is set to rise by an astonishing 33% this year, according to the Associated Press. That follows double-digit percentage increases in previous years, and will make it Russia’s highest defence budget ever, running to 4.2% of GDP, according to the Moscow Times.
What’s it being spent on?
Russia is modernising a huge amount of its military equipment, much of which has been languishing with Soviet-era design for the past three decades. This includes new equipment for Russia’s ground forces, as well as new tech for its Navy and Air Force, combined with territorial expansion into the Arctic.
The RS-24 Yars is currently replacing Russia's more outdated intercontinental nuclear missiles. It reportedly carries between four and ten nuclear warheads that can each hit different targets.
The Black Sea fleet will receive at least one of the Admiral Grigorovich class of frigates in 2015, according to the Moscow Times, adding to the one it already has. The fleet is being enhanced now that Russia controls Crimea.
This prototype will be Russia's most advanced battle tank, the Armata, as well as forming the basis for other armoured vehicles. It's expected to be showcased in Moscow this year. More than 2,000 are expected to be in service by 2020.
These new AK-12 Kalashnikov-built rifles will become standard-issue across the Russian military in the next few years, replacing a variety of previous models
Russia's Northern Fleet is being relocated to the Arctic, where it will set up a command post at the end of 2014. It's getting thousands of troops in the form of Arctic brigades as well as new submarines.
Russia is launching new Lada-class submarines to replace older and louder Kilo-class models this year, according to the Moscow Times
Russia's version of the US B1 bomber, the Tupolev Tu-160M is also being modernised this year, with updated weapons and avionics systems. It's capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.
According to Russia's Ria Nostovi, an updated version of Russia's Mi-28N attack helicopter will replace the older Mi-24 model. It's Russia's version of the US Apache.
Russia's purchase of French Mistral-class amphibious assault ships is currently in limbo, but there is one completed model waiting for delivery if relations between the countries thaw. Even if they don't, smaller domestic attack ships have already been commissioned.
The S-500 air defence system is currently in production, to replace the S-400 system. Russian sources say the new system will cut the air defence response time in half.
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