Minister: Russia to produce most arms

Feb. 20, 2010 at 5:11 PM

MOSCOW, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Russian Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin Saturday said the Russian Army will update itself using mostly Russian-made weaponry.

"We have some 20,000 tanks, while we need 5,000 to 6,000, and there are over 200,000 combat vehicles and several thousands aircraft, but the quality of hardware leave much to be desired," Popovkin said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy.

Acknowledging Russian arms in the past have been flawed, Popovkin said the government planned to scrap unneeded weapons or auction the arms through Rosoboroexport, the state arms exporter.

The Defense Ministry also may consider leasing weaponry while developing drone aircraft and training personnel. Russia plans to buy foreign-made unmanned drones this year, RIA Novosti reported.

"The national defense sector will shoulder (the production of ) most arms. The purchase of military equipment abroad will be made only in those fields where there are flaws," he said.

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