Russia planning upgrade to its navy

Jan. 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM

MOSCOW, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Russia aims to add 50 new warships, including nuclear submarines, to its defensive arsenal by 2016, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

"By 2016, the combat strength of the navy will be replenished with 18 surface warships of various ranks and designation and also 30 special-purpose and counter-subversion vessels," a government statement published by state news agency RIA Novosti read. "It is also planned to put six multipurpose and strategic submarines into operation."

The Defense Ministry said the rearmament program is part of a $659 billion investment measure that would run through 2020.

"The implementation of the shipbuilding program envisages serial construction along with the introduction of new technical and modernization solutions into each subsequently built warship," the statement read.

The Kremlin this week announced plans for naval exercises in the Mediterranean and Black seas in what was billed as the largest maneuvers in decades.

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