Russia’s aerospace security is in danger. The commander of the Russian Air Force Anatoly Kornukov and the former chief for procurement of the Russian Armed Forces Anatoly Sitnov stated that the military hardware of the Russian aerospace defense system was outdated. The nation’s defense complex, which produces the weaponry for air and space defense, is in a deplorable state, the two officials said.
As a result, Russia has fallen 25 or even 30 years behind its potential enemies in air defense technologies.
“Nowadays, military space attacks decide everything. The experience of the recent local wars is a very good proof for that. The USA, however, has been developing its forces successfully. They have launched a military spacecraft, a fifth-generation jet, and they also work on the Prompt Global Strike concept,” Kornukov said.
Anatoly Sitnov stated that Russia had lost over 300 unique technologies in the field of combat air force and missile defense. It goes about the reusable space transportation system, super heavy An-225 Mriya aircraft, a military orbital complex and developments in the field of missile technology.
“Those who conquer space, conquer the world. When we were launching laser weapons into space, we were told that space should not be militarized. We stopped the project, but the USA continues to test such weapons,” Sitnov said.
Pravda.Ru interviewed military experts Vladislav Shurygin, Alexander Khramchikhin and Ivan Yerokhin to find out if they agreed or disagreed with the views of the above-mentioned officials.
“Kornukov’s and Sitnov’s remarks are a reflection of today’s severe reality. Russia has not been making anything new in the field of aerospace weapons. The things that we have now come from the times of the USSR. This goes to the fifth-generation jet too,” Mr. Shurygin said.
“We have decommissioned about a thousand of combat planes which could not operate due to the lack of spare parts. Most of the planes that we have now will be decommissioned in six years maximum.
“As for the aerospace weapons, Russia gave it all up while NATO has been working on the project very actively. That is why NATO members take the colossal advantage of Russia in the field of informational and analytical systems, communication, navigation systems, etc. All of that is the result of the policies which Russia has been conducting in its defense complex since the 1990s.
“A whole complex of measures is needed to solve these problems. The troops must be supplied with state-of-the-art defense technologies. The small purchases, which Russia has been making recently, will not improve anything. The establishment of massive shipments of weaponry is impossible without the modernization of the defense complex in general. There is another problem: Russia needs young specialists to replace old-timers in the defense complex – many specialists that work in the defense industry today are older than 60.
“Russia has been cutting its spending on education in the defense complex. Only ten of 50 military schools will be left in the country. The nation’s only air defense academy in the city of Tver is about to be closed,” Vladislav Shurygin said.
“Russia does not have either air defense or space defense troops, Ivan Yerokhin told Pravda.Ru. Air defense troops were abolished during the 1990s – priority was attached to air force – a type of armed forces which pursues completely different goals. Space or air attacks pose the largest danger to Russia in the 21st century. NATO always pays a lot of attention to the aerospace forces. As the examples of Yugoslavia and Serbia show, these forces play the decisive role in achieving military success.
“It is an open secret that strategic nuclear forces are extremely important in containing aggression. The strategic nuclear forces have to be defended, though. Now that the USA develops and launches hypersonic aircraft and missiles which develop the speed of up to 6,000 km/h it becomes clear that a potential enemy will be able to conduct instant attacks, in mere minutes. The decision to repulse such an attack will have to be taken in mere seconds,” Me. Yerokhin said.
Alexander Khramchikhin, the deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, also believes that Kornukov and Sitnov were right in what they said.
“Kornukov and Sitnov are right. The Russian aerospace system is unable to execute its tasks today. This is the result of the pitiful condition in the nation’s armed forces, which have virtually turned in an exhibition for foreign customers. The Americans have ground-based and sea-based missile defense systems, they have space laser weapons, they can down satellites from warships. Russia does not have those technologies.
“Some will probably say that we have S-400 missile complexes, but there are only two divisions of them at the time when tens of them are needed. New missiles are still not ready for S-400 systems – they use the missiles of its predecessor, the S-300 system. As a matter of fact, today the S-400 is absolutely identical to the S-300.
“One may often hear people saying that Russia does not need the army per se, because the times are different and nobody is going to attack anyone. History shows, though, that it is military weakness that leads to aggression. If we continue to disregard the national armed forces as we are doing it now, we will soon learn it in practice,” the expert concluded.