Russia develops defence programme against high-precision strikes

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Moscow, Apr 29 (UNI) Russia has developed a new concept for unified national defence against high-precision weapons, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said today.

''This programme envisions the creation of a unified, combined-arms defence network to protect vital objects of military, political and economic infrastructure from strikes delivered with high-precision weapons,'' Mr Ivanov said at the meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission under the government.

However, he said the implementation of the programme would require thorough modernisation of the existing arsenal of air and missile defence systems in conjunction with a complete overhaul of command-and-control structures.

As a first step, Russia will strengthen air defences around Moscow and in the central part of European Russia by deploying a second regiment equipped with new S-400 air defence systems to protect the air space of the capital and industrial zones, RIA Novosti said.

Russia's Air Force was also planning to transform the 16th Air Army into an Air Force and Air Defence army in 2009.

The 16th Air Army is the most important unit of the Special Purpose Command. Initially formed during the World War II as a part of the Soviet Air Force, it is now the tactical air force component of the Moscow Military District, headquartered at Kubinka airbase near Moscow.

Mr Ivanov said the Russian budget allocated 30 billion dollars for state defence orders last year.

The Russian Armed Forces and other security-related bodies adopted over 200 types of new weaponry last year.

UNI XC SKB VC1907

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