Military building up strong muscles

The Armed Forces are being modernised. There is, of course, a large amount of Soviet-made hardware sitting in the stores. However, every year, our country puts a further 15 to 20 new pieces into service, and the same quantity of special hardware is also commissioned. The Deputy Minister of Defence for Armament, Major General Igor Lotenkov, disclosed some plans.
By Dmitry Ampilov

The Armed Forces are being modernised. There is, of course, a large amount of Soviet-made hardware sitting in the stores. However, every year, our country puts a further 15 to 20 new pieces into service, and the same quantity of special hardware is also commissioned. The Deputy Minister of Defence for Armament, Major General Igor Lotenkov, disclosed some plans.

“The role of precision weapons, space systems for reconnaissance and communication and weapons based on new physical principles has immeasurably increased today. Therefore, as we do for rearmament, so here we will put emphasis on our communications, automated troop handling systems, armament and military hardware, radio-electronic reconnaissance, and both ground and air based electronic warfare. We also will put emphasis on multi-purpose warfare aircraft systems, mobile anti-aircraft missile systems and tactical guided-missile systems with geo-information.”

Speaking about specific projects, Major General Lotenkov noted, “A major decision has been made regarding major repairs and modernisation of our MiG-29 and Su-25 aircrafts based at 558th Aircraft Repair Plant in Baranovichi. The first 10 aircrafts are already in the workshop, ready for modernisation. In the near future it is planned to purchase new, Russian made, radar stations. It will allow us to create a continuous low-level, radar field on the western, north-western and southern fronts. Some stations which are already in service will be modernised too. Next year, the implementation of contracts on the delivery of the three-dimensional radar station Protivnik, Yak-130 trainer aircraft and four battalions of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems will take place. We will also be buying training simulators for the T-72 tank and the Mi-8 helicopter.”

One concern is the remaining anti-personnel mines containing toxic substances. “It is important for Belarus to get rid of these devices. We undertook a commitment on the non-proliferation of this kind of weapon when we joined the Ottawa Treaty back in the 90s. We needed to approach the European Union for resources and assistance. One Spanish company has now created a centre for the disposal of these mines in Rechitsa. A test run is planned for February,” noted Mr. Lotenkov.

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