Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 42

The Russian armed forces will have only enough procurement money in the next few years to fund the development of prototypes of new weapons and perhaps to modernize some of its present equipment, First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin said yesterday. The armed forces should not expect to get significant amounts of new arms until after 2005, he added. According to Col. Gen. Anatoly Sitnov, the General StaffÕs Chief of Armaments, a number of arms plants will receive Òguaranteed minimal state ordersÓ for new weapons in the interim so that they will be ready to meet the militaryÕs needs when money does become available. As an example, he said that after 2005 the armed forces expect to buy 350 new tanks and 400 armored vehicles each year. Kokoshin cited the venerable Mi-24 attack helicopter as the sort of equipment that will be modernized. He said that it will be updated so that its capabilities approach those of the new Ka-50 Black Shark helicopter gunship. (Itar-Tass, February 27) According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, there are nearly 1,000 Mi-24s in the Russian inventory and only 4 Ka-50s. Yesterday, an official of the company producing the Ka-50 said that 12 more would be built this year. (The Military Balance: 1996/97; Interfax, February 26)

Belarusan Regime Seems to be Losing Enthusiasm About Merger with Russia.