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Meeting on developing the Air Force

November 28, 2013, Sochi

Vladimir Putin held a meeting on developing Russia’s Air Force.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,

Today we will continue what we started yesterday, namely a discussion about carrying out state defence procurement orders, this time in reference to aviation, military aviation.

Professionals are well aware that the role and importance of aviation has been constantly increasing since the First World War. Today aviation – especially in the light of modern technology – accomplishes military, transport and intelligence tasks. And in this regard we have a large programme to develop our military aviation.

This year 86 new aircraft and over 100 new helicopters were commissioned into our Air Force. Next year we expect a further 120 aircraft and about 90 helicopters, and by 2020 our troops should receive about 1,600 – or more precisely 1,591 – samples of the newest aircraft technology. This is how we plan to equip 70 percent of our fleet with the newest technology.

I want to emphasise once again that we have drawn up the plans and allocated the funds; now we need to work. We need to comply strictly with the production, testing and acceptance deadlines, and monitor the quality. Our main producer in Russia is the United Aircraft Corporation. Today we shall see how harmoniously financing is being allocated, and how synchronously businesses are operating.

What are the things I would like to draw attention to? First, it’s strengthening strategic nuclear airborne forces. We need to step up work on the new prospective air complex for long-range aviation, PAK DA. Our work on the Sukhoi PAK FA, the prospective airborne complex of frontline aviation, is well underway. Several aircraft are being tested, fine-tuned and refined. We are actively working on next-generation propulsion systems. Naturally, some issues remain open, but I have virtually no doubt that our plans will be completed. But we must start working on the PAK DA and do that actively.

Naturally, we have to continue modernising the Tu-160 and Tu-95MS. You know what we have to work on: electronics and other things too. The potential of these systems is far from exhausted. And with regards to long-range aviation, much can be done to modernise and bring this technology to a higher level.

The second issue is increasing supplies of tactical fighter aircraft, I mean the Su-25SM and Su-34, fifth-generation fighters that I have already mentioned.

And the third thing is developing and expanding promising unmanned systems. They are used increasingly often throughout the world. We will not be doing it like some other countries do. This is no game, it is not computer games, but rather serious military aircraft designed for both strikes and intelligence. And it is quite clear that they have good prospects. We must not only think about this, but also make all these plans a reality.

Let’s talk about all these topics.


November 28, 2013, Sochi