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Russian military to purchase 600 planes, 100 ships

February 24, 2011

Associated Press

MOSCOW – Russian news agencies are citing Defense Ministry officials as saying the country will spend $650 billion to equip its dilapidated military with 600 new warplanes, 100 ships and 1,000 helicopters by 2020.

The agencies quote First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin as saying Thursday that the ambitious plan envisages eight new nuclear submarines and two Mistral aircraft carriers in addition to the two that Russian is buying from France.

The announcement comes during a large-scale streamlining of personnel in Russia’s bloated and poorly equipped armed forces. The unpopular reforms of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov have seen as many as 200,000 officers lose their jobs and nine of every 10 army units disbanded.

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