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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Borisov Discusses Aircraft Acquisition Plans

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov discussed the military's plans for aircraft acquisitions.

Speaking on Thursday, Deputy Defense Minister Borisov stated that the military would receive two dozen new aircraft. He said, "This year’s production program includes only 24 planes: ten Yak-130 planes, 12 Su-30SM jets for the Russian aerospace forces and two for the navy.

"As for Yak-130 planes, ninety-two are already operating. We have plans to buy more. We will discuss a long-term contract. We plan to sign it this year," he added.

Similarly, Russia will sign a 'big contract' for the production of Su-30SMs under the state armaments program, though the deputy defense minister did not offer further details on that. He did, however, note that upgrade work on the Su-30SM will be carried out beginning in 2018.

"We plan to kick off modernization this year, complete its first stage in 2019 and then start [deliveries of] upgraded vehicles," according to Deputy Defense Minister Borisov. "[The Su-30SMs] performed in the best possible way in Syria and proved all their capabilities. This aircraft is to be upgraded in terms of import substitution and adaptation of new air weapons."

As part of its deployment in Syria, Russia has utilized the Su-30SM in support of the Syrian military.

Deputy Defense Minister Borisov additionally discussed Russia's plans for the Su-57. An order for a 'preproduction batch' will be signed this year.

"We are buying Su-57 jets for test combat use. First stage state trials are over. This year, we will sign a contract for the first batch of 12 Su-57 fighter jets for the Armed Forces," he said.

The first two of this order may well be ready for service in 2019. However, the Russian jet is still under development and its 'second stage engine' is not expected to be ready for some time. The Su-57 was flight-tested late last year with the new engine.

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