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Russia curbs purchase of military equipment

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Russian defence ministry plans to import drones this year

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia will use domestically-built arms and purchase military equipment only in those fields where there are flaws, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin has said.

"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," Ria Novosti quoted Vladimir Popovkin as saying to Ekho Moskvy radio on Saturday.

The deputy defense minister said there were "flaws" in the production of sophisticated arms, including unmanned aircraft.

He said this year Russias defence ministry would import drones and that work was already in progress to develop drones and train people.

The defense ministry had funds only to maintain strategic nuclear forces and repair operating arms; he said, adding, Russia currently had a large fleet of outdated equipment even though the Army had bought little over the past 15 years.

"We have some 20,000 tanks, while we need 5,000 to 6,000, and there are over 200,000 combat vehicles and several thousand aircraft, but the quality of hardware leaves much to be desired," he said.

Popovkin said Russian arms producers would soon handle servicing and warranty maintenance of hardware, and that the Defense Ministry was considering leasing arms.

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