Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Russian defense industry falls behind rivals

Russian weapons are falling behind rival products, experts told the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily on Wednesday.Russian Academy of Science members Vladimir Fortov and Igor Kalyaev said that a reduction in research funds was making it hard for Russian weapons to stay competitive and for the defense industry to produce breakthroughs.

However, last month Russian President Dmitry Medvedev approved a long-term policy for the development of the national defense industry. He stressed that development and production of modern electronic systems would be a priority for the industry in the next three to four years.

But while the Russian government has prioritized the modernization of the military-industrial complex, Fortov and Kalyaev believe this is impossible without a sound scientific foundation.

They also said that the military prefers short-term projects, with very concrete developments based on well-known principles. This approach makes Russian military equipment lag behind its rivals even at the planning stage, they said.Without the ability to innovate, the Russian defense sector will sooner or later run into a brick wall, the experts claim.

RIA Novost

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