Every Wednesday, Voenno-Promyshlennyi Kurier publishes a new issue that includes short news items about the Russian military. I’m going to experiment with providing occasional translations of these news stories, without commentary. Not sure if it’ll become a permanent feature or not. It will depend on how much time it takes and whether I feel it takes away from my time to write longer analytical pieces here. But I’ll try it for at least the next few weeks.
–Severnaia Verf is planning to build three support vessels for the Russian Navy, capable of being used in northern environments. The first of the ships will be built by 2014, with the last to be handed over in 2016. They will go to the Northern, Pacific, and Black Sea Fleets.
–Admiralteiskie Verfi is building a rescue ship, to be called Igor Belousov, that will be used primarily for rescue operations involving submarines. It is expected to be commissioned in 2014.
–President Putin noted that four trillion rubles, i.e. almost a quarter of all GPV-2020 funding, has been allocated to rebuilding the air force and army aviation.
–The first new Il-476 transport plane will be rolled out on July 5 in Ulyanovsk. Russian military transport aviation hopes to acquire up to 100 of these planes. There are discussions of selling 36 more, plus four Il-478 tanker planes based on the same fuselage, to China. These would replace the Il-76 and Il-78 planes that were not sent to China because of problems at the previous assembly plant in Tashkent.
–Dmitry Rogozin stated that Russia and Israel are discussing developing a joint venture to build UAVs that could be used by both countries, with construction to take place in Russia. In the meantime, Russia may sign new contracts to purchase 48-72 UAVs from Israel, in addition to the ones already purchased in the past.
– Vladimir Putin, in the meantime, noted that Russia is planning to spend 400 billion rubles through 2020 to develop a fully indigenous UAV capability.
–Sevmash is on track to transfer the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier to India on December 5. The ship has been undergoing sea trials in the Barents Sea since June 8.