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    Russian Army to get new weaponry in 2006 - Defense Ministry

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    Colonel General Alexander Belousov said the Armed Forces would receive about 30 main battle tanks, 40 infantry fighting vehicles, more than 100 armored personnel carriers, modernized surface-to-air missiles, more than 10 combat helicopters and a regiment of silo-based Topol-M ballistic missiles.

    MOSCOW, May 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Armed Forces will get a large procurement of new weaponry by the end of this year, a deputy defense minister said Thursday.

    Colonel General Alexander Belousov said the Armed Forces would receive about 30 main battle tanks, 40 infantry fighting vehicles, more than 100 armored personnel carriers, modernized surface-to-air missiles, more than 10 combat helicopters and a regiment of silo-based Topol-M ballistic missiles.

    The acquisitions will be made under a major modernization program highlighted in President Vladimir Putin's state of the nation address May 10 and in statements by a number of senior military officials.

    "The modernization program for 2006 envisions the procurement of about 30 new T-90 tanks and modernization of more than 180 T-72 and T-80 tanks," Belousov said, adding that this meant older tanks would stay in service longer.

    He said the army would receive more than 40 new BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), 100 BTR-80 and BTR-90 armored personnel carriers (APCs), new BMD-2 and BMD-3 airborne IFVs and about 4,500 Kamaz and Ural trucks. More than 350 IFVs, 170 APCs, and 90 airborne IFVs will be modernized, he said.

    Belousov also said 50 frontline aircraft would be modernized, including Su-24 Fencer tactical bombers, Su-25 Frogfoot attack aircraft, Su-27 Flanker and MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters. He added that 20 surface-to-air missile systems would be modernized and equipped with new missiles.

    "We have ordered more than 100 new missiles for these systems," Belousov said. The Army will also get more than 10 new Mi-28 Havoc and Ka-50 Hokum attack helicopters, he added.

    "The Strategic Missile Forces will put a regiment of silo-based Topol-M ballistic missiles on combat duty by the end of this year," Belousov said.

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