Russia relies on missiles
According to SIPRI, Russia increased its military spending by 2.9% to $65.9 billion in 2021. This was the third consecutive year of growth, and in 2021 Russia’s military spending reached 4.1% of GDP.
“High revenue from oil and gas has helped Russia increase its military spending. These costs fell between 2016 and 2019. It started to increase after that,” said Lucy Bero-Sudro, director of the military expenditure and weapons production program at SIPRI.
The report emphasizes that Russia has recently attached great importance to the development of missile weapons and actively used them during the conflict in Ukraine.
SIPRI analysts note that in the past six years, the Russian Armed Forces has received 17 Bal and Bastion coast guard missile systems. 12 missile regiments were re-equipped with the Yars complex, 10 missile brigades with the Iskander complex, 20 anti-aircraft missile regiments were armed with S-400 air defense systems. Accepted for the service hypersonic complex “Dagger”.
13 aviation regiments received modernized 4++ generation aircraft (MiG-31BM, Su-35S, Su-30SM and Su-34), and three army aviation brigades and six helicopter regiments received Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters.
In the near future, we should expect more samples of military equipment to be supplied to the RF Armed Forces.
Thus, in 2022, the Strategic Missile Forces will receive new intercontinental ballistic missiles RS-28 Sarmat. These heavy, multi-stage liquid-fueled intercontinental missiles will replace the R-36M2 “Voevoda” fixed-base complexes in the Strategic Missile Forces. Development work on the Sarmat project began in 2011.
Also, in the near future, the hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile “Zircon” (or 3M22) will be supplied to the Russian Navy. This product is planned to replace the P-700 Granit heavy anti-ship missile.
Tests of the multi-mode supersonic strategic missile carrier Tu-160M/M2 with variable wing geometry begin. The strategic bomber will be equipped with fully updated avionics and engines. This missile carrier is designed for new long-range weapons. The Tu-160M/M2 will form the basis of aerospace strategic nuclear forces for decades to come.
NATO weapons are destroyed in the warehouses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
SIPRI analysts note that Kiev’s military spending has increased by 72% since Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014. In 2021, spending reached $5.9 billion, accounting for 3.2% of the country’s GDP.
“Despite the enormous increase in military spending, before the outbreak of the conflict, US states and their partners were afraid to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. Largely due to systemic corruption. There was no certainty that the weapons would not make it to the black market. Since the 1990s, Ukraine has gained a reputation as a country where Soviet weapons were illegally supplied to countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The same fate can befall NATO equipment. Therefore, until the very beginning of hostilities, NATO countries offered Ukraine mainly auxiliary equipment, such as thermal imagers and small arms, ”the American portal Defense News reports.
The situation has changed after the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
On April 21, 2022, US President Joe Biden announced that a major military aid package of $800 million was allocated to Ukraine. The start of the Russian special military operation against Ukraine on February 24. The total amount of American military aid officially allocated to Kiev under these packages now reaches $3.35 billion, and $4 billion from March 2021.
According to the US Department of Defense, the most important part of the new aid package is the transport of 72 155 mm howitzers, 72 tractors for them and 144,000 artillery shells from the presence of the US armed forces to Ukraine.
In addition, the military aid package announced on April 21 included the delivery of 121 new Phoenix Ghost mobile ammunition as soon as possible, which is said to have been specially developed by the US Air Force in line with the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. .
SIPRI analysts conclude that, against the background of the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, the emphasis on Kiev’s military spending in the near future will largely shift to the following areas: unmanned aerial vehicles (reconnaissance equipment, assault UAVs and mobile munitions), artillery and multiple weapons long-range rocket systems (artillery guns – at least 70-80 km, MLRS – at least 300 km), anti-tank missile systems and grenade launchers, air defense systems.
Measures will be taken to increase the safety of armored combat vehicles and especially wheeled transportation vehicles. Apparently, approaches to conducting combat operations in conditions of intensive urban development will be revised. This will apply both to weapons (artillery and aviation weapons of large and special power) and organizational and personnel structures.
At the same time, even a large supply of weapons does not yet guarantee reliable defense for Ukraine. A significant part of the weapons and military equipment delivered to the country was destroyed in warehouses or during transportation to the contact line.
The author’s view may not coincide with the editors’ position.
Mikhail Mikhailovich Khodarenok is a military observer of socialbites.ca, a retired colonel.
Graduated from the Minsk Higher Engineering Anti-Aircraft Missile School (1976),
Air Defense Military Command Academy (1986).
Commander of the S-75 anti-aircraft missile battalion (1980–1983).
Deputy commander of an anti-aircraft missile regiment (1986-1988).
Senior officer of the Air Defense Forces Chief of Staff (1988-1992).
General Staff Main Operations Directorate Officer (1992-2000).
Graduate of the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (1998).
Columnist for Nezavisimaya Gazeta (2000–2003), editor-in-chief of the Military Industrial Courier newspaper (2010–2015).