If the financing of the armed forces does not improve, only 10-12 percent of Russian air defense installations will remain up to date by the year 2000, a well-informed source at the Defense Ministry said yesterday. He said new weaponry constitutes only 25 percent of the total in air defense inventories today. "The force is mostly equipped with outdated and worn-out systems made 20 years ago," the officer said. In the absence of the necessary funding, the repairs of old and the development of new systems has been practically frozen. According to the official, the necessary repairs of air defense systems will require 120 billion rubles in 1996, but less than 40 billion will be earmarked for the purpose at best. (4)
Obsolescent systems could spell danger for Russian military pilots on routine patrols, and possibly even commercial aircraft entering Russian air space, if the systems become error-prone. After strategic forces, spending on air defense systems and armaments had been the largest category in the former Soviet Union’s defense budget.
Russian Society: The Graying….