By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer
Speaking at the Tuesday, June 16 opening of the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2015 in the newly-created military-patriotic recreation park in Kubinka, Moscow Region, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that forty new advanced ICBMs will be added to Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal in 2015.“This year, our nuclear forces are going to get more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of penetrating all existing, even the most advanced missile defenses.”, he said. He further elaborated that “The state would persist in paying specific attention to realization of a massive military rearmament program and modernization of the defense industry”.
Vladimir Putin opening the IMTF ARMY-2015 Exposition [Photo:RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf]
This announcement comes in the context of significant Russian weapons systems development including but not limited to: next-generation Yak-130 fighter aircraft, T-14 (Armata) tanks, 40 new navy ships, microwave guns and advanced over-the-horizon radar systems. Putin further claimed that the new strategic missiles were capable of overcoming even the most advanced anti-missile defense systems. The arms buildup comes at a time of increased Russia/NATO tensions over the Ukraine and increasingly expansive Russian naval maneuvers and air force flights in the Baltic area.
According to the official Russian viewpoint, the strategic buildup was made in response to a US move to station troops, armor, missiles, munitions and air assets (including F-22s) in Poland and at least one of Baltic States. Deputy Defense Minister, Anatoly Antonov, was quoted in Russia Today to the effect that the Russian Federation was responding to actions of NATO. “It looks like our colleagues from NATO member states are pushing us into an arms race.” he said.
Independent critics have raised the strategic counterpoint that active encirclement only increases friction and emergent Russian logic for a more aggressive defense posture, by violating the historical international security doctrine of buffer states.
For a comparison of Russian and US Nuclear Forces, see: http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/17/4587