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Russian Air Force to procure 1,500 new aircraft by 2020

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The Russian Air Force will procure over 1,500 new aircraft and significantly increase the number of high-precision weapons in its arsenal by 2020, a deputy Air Force commander said on Wednesday.

The Russian Air Force will procure over 1,500 new aircraft and significantly increase the number of high-precision weapons in its arsenal by 2020, a deputy Air Force commander said on Wednesday.

"Overall, we are planning to acquire and modernize about 2,000 aircraft and helicopters by 2020...including more than 1,500 new aircraft and about 400 modernized," Lt. Gen. Igor Sadofyev told reporters in Moscow.

According to the general, in 2011 the Air Force plans to adopt Su-27SM, Su-30M2 and Su-35S multirole fighters, Su-34 fighter-bombers and Yak-130 combat trainers as well as Ka-52 and Mi-28N attack helicopters, Mi-8 armed assault helicopters, Ka-226 and Ansat-U light multipurpose helicopters.

"The priority for the strategic aviation is the modernization of 80 percent of existing Tu-160, Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3 bombers and Il-78M aerial tankers...and the extension of their service life," Sadofyev said.

He also said that the share of high-precision weaponry in the Russian Air Force arsenal would increase by 18 times, including the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) - by six times.

"In addition to a thorough upgrade of the aircraft fleet, the measures planned until 2020 will allow us to increase the share of high-precision weaponry to 70 percent of the total, or by 18 times," the general said.

Sadofyev added that the number of all-weather aircraft, capable of carrying out day and night missions would increase almost five-fold, and the share of UAVs would constitute about 30 percent of the total by 2020.

MOSCOW, December 1 (RIA Novosti) 

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